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grind your soul takes over WWE SmackDown!


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So yeah, here I am.

In the Polls and Questions sub-forum, conniption mentioned he might start re-posting GBW, but not all at once, just a show once in awhile as if he was writing it anew.

I think this will work for this diary, too.

It gives me time to read over everything that's gone on in the diary world, and get familiar with it. It gives me time to regain the passion I once had for this. There's no guarantee that it'll come back with new stuff once it's all done [although there are a few shows I never posted on EWBIII] but I enjoyed writing and reading this diary, so I'm going to re-post it and do it all over again.

This diary was close to my heart for a long time. I genuinely tried to make it special while still keeping it realistic, and implementing stuff that I think would happen in real life with stuff that I *know* would happen in real life. I hope that you also find it special. Or retarded, whatever, as long as you read.

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WWE SmackDown! Diary

So you probably wonder, "What's a guy like grind your soul doing in the WWE?" Well, fans, here is my story. You see, I've been fantasy booking for years, throwing my ideas into the mix of WWE/WWF storylines that have been going on. Some of my ideas were so good, that hybrids of them were actually used on WWE TV. I've been a columnist for years, as well, basically writing "letters of bitching" to the WWE, and posting them on random websites. Hey, wouldn't you know it, many things that I've bitched about over the years have been removed/fixed/upgraded on WWE programming. Now, to think that I have had input in making the WWE a better/worse place is sort of "out there", but I persevered in my thoughts that I had helped do just that. People kept telling me how naive I was to think that a hundred million dollar company would ever take my ideas. That is, until they called me one morning.

I had been having back and forth conversations with WWE SmackDown! writer, and manager of the Big Show, Paul Heyman, for a month or so. He had read some of my stuff on itsallfakewrestling.com, and had seen numerous ideas that he found "outstanding", and even a couple that he had used on SmackDown! and Velocity programming. He had called me one day, and we had hit it off instantly. On a cold December 18th morning, Paul Heyman made one more call to me. But this time, it wasn't as a friend. Paul Heyman offered me a job writing for WWE SmackDown! Of course, as a fan, and "internet smark", I found this idea to be beyond belief. He assured me that I would have control of "the book" on SmackDown! and Velocity programming, and he would give me as much of a help as I needed, while doing his part to keep the backstage politicing on the low-down, and make me feel at home in the company.

Naturally, I accepted. Sure, I couldn't fire any of the workers, as that was beyond my jurisdiction, and Vince McMahon himself had a few angles planned that I had to see taken care of, but the majority of the SmackDown! book was MINE, MINE, ALLLL MINE! Upon arriving at a WWE SmackDown! Brand house show in Connecticut, I was greeted by numerous wrestlers and road agents, welcoming me into the company. Among the warmest of welcomes I received was from "A-Train", Albert, who greeted me with flowers and a box of chocolates. Ah, that Albert, such a sweety. Remind me to push him.

The story is getting a bit longwinded, so I will end it now. Before I go, I'd like to tell you all that I've had a BIG HAND in getting a lot of independant talent signed to the WWE SmackDown! Brand development territory. The roster for the company, as well as the results of the WWE SmackDown! Brand matches at WWE Armageddon, will be posted shortly, as well as the first show, WWE SmackDown! for January 2, 2003.

P.S. This diary will be as realistic as possible, and I'm only doing it because I love SmackDown! and feel that it could definately be an amazing show, if only they'd listen to me! Big chunks of hirings/firings will not really be happening, and if I sign somebody new, I'm not going to immediately push them as if everybody knows/cares about them. I'm going to try and be as logical as I can in regards to the fed. I will not be controlling the RAW Brand, but WWE Raw will be auto-booked by Triple H every week (just like in real life! :grinbig:), and WWE Heat will be booked by Raven every week (oh, if only.. :lol:). No WWE Raw brand matches will happen at PPVs, only SmackDown! stuff. Roster and so forth in a second.

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WWE SmackDown! Roster

As I've said before, I was unable to fire anybody, but here is the roster of who is currently on WWE SmackDown!, and who is SmackDown!-usable in Ohio Valley Wrestling, the development territory. The total current SmackDown! roster consists of 44 wrestlers, but only 24 active wrestlers, as 20 are injured/in development/have prior engagements. Most of the development guys will get one or two matches on Velocity to help their overness, but won't be an active part of the fed for a month or two, unless they really stand out.

Faces in blue, heels in red, tweeners are green.

Main Eventers

Brock Lesnar

Hollywood Hulk Hogan (out indefinately; contract disputes)

Kurt Angle

The Rock (out indefinately; filming a movie)

The Undertaker (off for at least two weeks to spend time with Sarataker)

The Big Show

Upper Midcarders

Edge

Chris Benoit

Eddie Guerrero (WWE Tag Team Champion)

Midcarders

Billy Gunn (out indefinately; shoulder injury)

Billy Kidman (WWE Cruiserweight Champion)

Chuck Palumbo

Rey Mysterio

Rikishi

Tajiri

A-Train

Jamie Noble

John Cena

Matt Hardy

Rhyno (out for two weeks; recovering from injury)

Lower Midcarders

Hardcore Holly (out indefinately; neck injury)

Shannon Moore

Shelton Benjamin

B-Squared

Crash Holly

Nunzio

Openers

Bill DeMott

Funaki

Chavo Guerrero(WWE Tag Team Champion)

Managers/Non-Wrestlers

Stephanie McMahon (SmackDown! GM)

Tazz (SmackDown! commentator)

Torrie Wilson

Dawn Marie

Ernest Miller (Velocity commentator)

Nidia

Paul Heyman

Development

Jody Fleisch (new signing)

Mark Henry

Nova

Paul London (new signing)

R.C. Haas

Rob Conway

Scotty 2 Hotty (out indefinately; neck injury)

Spanky

The Amazing Red (new signing)

Chris Kanyon

Dixie (new signing)

Doug Basham

Izzy (new signing)

Michael Shane (new signing)

So that's what we have to work with right now. Chances are, we're going to be *ahem* "trading talent" with the RAW brand, to give us a BIT more workers on our side, as we have 51 people on our roster (in total), while RAW has 64, making things a little uneven.

Edited by grind your soul
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WWE (SmackDown! Brand) Armageddon!

Dawn Marie promised to show the footage of her hotel room encounter with Torrie Wilson, and it was steamy as hell. As the crowd watched the video, we saw some dilly-dallyin', before the two divas engaged in some steamy lesbian make-out fun. The crowd ate this up with a spoon, and wanted more. Torrie eventually slapped Dawn Marie silly for suggesting that they engage in a little bit more of the action to please the Florida fans, and told Dawn Marie that she loved her father, but would not stand to be blackmailed like this any further. Al Wilson came out, and told Dawn Marie that he loved her like no other, but that Torrie meant more to him than any "floozy" could ever mean to him. He took the ring off of Dawn Marie's finger, and left arm-in-arm with his daughter, while Dawn Marie followed behind, crying and yelling for Al to please reconsider.

A-Train fought Edge, who was out for revenge after A-Train injured his running buddy Rey Mysterio, putting him out of action for the remainder of December, and the first week of January. The match was, as expected, a **1/2 affair, with Albert using his plodding offense to keep control of the match. Edge came back, eventually, and levelled Albert with three spears, before finishing him off with a diving spear off the top rope to get the three count.

Chris Benoit took on his former best friend, "Latino Heat" Eddie Guerrero, in what was hyped by Tazz as a "guaranteed five-star classic!" The two men tore into each other for a good 15 minutes, before Chavo Guerrero ran down to ringside, distracting Benoit long enough for Eddie to get him into a Crippler Crossface! Benoit was about to tap, but was able to break the hold. Chavo distracted the ref again, but Benoit nailed him off of the ring apron, only to turn around and be pasted with a shot with the WWE Tag Team Title by Eddie. Eddie hit the Lasso From El Paso, and Benoit's arm was raised three times, and dropped three times, giving Guerrero the win.

In the SmackDown! Main Event, The Big Show was able to retain his WWE Title after besting Kurt Angle with help from Paul Heyman. Brock Lesnar, the man chosen to be in Angle's corner by Angle himself, didn't play much of a role in the match, only serving to keep Paul Heyman at bay. After 10 minutes of Big Show destroying Angle, Angle fought back and nailed Show with an Angle Slam. Heyman pulled the ref out at two to prevent an Angle victory, and Lesnar wouldn't have that. As he came over to Paul, ref Mike Chioda cut him off, allowing Paul to get into the ring and hit Angle with a chair. Angle NO-SOLD~! the chairshot, choosing instead to Angle Slam Paul Heyman! Angle got up and put Heyman in the Angle Lock, but (as you could probably guess), the Big Show awoke, Chokeslammed Angle, and got the three-count to retain his title. After the match, Lesnar was able to F5 the Big Show, as well as Heyman, before he got into the face of Kurt Angle. Refs and officials broke the two up before anything could come of it.

Other Armageddon results that you shouldn't care about (ie: "RAW Brand Results"):

Batista def. Kane after interference from Ric Flair.

Victoria def. Jacqueline and Trish Stratus in a triple threat match after pinning Jaqueline with the Widow's Peak, retaining her Women's Title.

Booker T & Goldust def. Chris Jericho & Christian, The Dudley Boyz and William Regal & Lance Storm in a four-way dance to win the World Tag Team Titles. D-Von was pinned by Christian with his feet on the ropes, Lance Storm was taken out by a Booker T Houston Hangover, and finally, Christian was pinned by Goldust, following a Chris Jericho chairshot attempt gone wrong.

Triple H def. Shawn Michaels in the three stages of hell match after pinning him in the street fight following a sledgehammer shot to the back, and then escaping the cage in the second fall. Michaels had the cage match won, but his back gave out as he climbed the cage, sending him crashing down through a table in the ring, allowing Triple H to walk out the door, and regain the World Title.

But, of course, that PPV happened way back on December 15. Hell, we're in January now. What happened between now and then? Come back in a bit, where I will reveal all of the results, very quickly. Then, I promise, we'll get into the new stuff.

WWE SmackDown! Brand Results

WWE SmackDown! - December 19, 2002

- Paul Heyman and Big Show came out gloated about their title retaining.

Match 1 - Bill DeMott def. Rikishi after help from John Cena and B-Squared.

- Lesnar arrived in the building.

- Dawn Marie called out Al Wilson, who said that he was sorry, but he didn't want to be married to someone who was going to use him to get at his daughter (as hot as that would be). He said that he did not want anything to do with the WWE any longer, and that he was "going home".

- Kurt Angle came out, and talked about how he blames Brock Lesnar for costing him his WWE Title. Lesnar comes out and says that he will not apologize, that Angle should have been able to take care of himself. The two get into a staredown, but Eddie Guerrero interrupts and says that while these two pussycats are arguing, Eddie Guerrero has got a World Title shot against Show! The two men fume in the ring, while Eddie smirks on the ramp.

Match 2 - Billy Kidman def. Jamie Noble to retain his Cruiserweight Title. After the match, Nunzio ran in and the two men pummeled Kidman.

- Chris Benoit comes out and talks about how Chavo screwed him over in his match vs Eddie at Armageddon. Matt Hardy comes out, and makes fun of Chris, before Chris challenges him for right here, right now.

Match 3 - Chris Benoit def. Matt Hardy in a good match. Eddie and Chavo run out after the match and beat down Benoit.

- Stephanie McMahon says that after impressive showings at Armageddon by Edge and Chris Benoit, even in a losing effort, they would be two men entered into a "#1 Contender Tournament" to happen NEXT WEEK on SmackDown! The other two men involved would be Lesnar and Angle. Angle vs Edge, and Lesnar vs Benoit with the winners meeting the following week.

Match 4 - Albert def. Chuck Palumbo.

- After the match, Albert says that he is still on a tear in the federation, and that the "little pansy" Edge fluking a win would not set him back on his journey to be the dominating force in WWE.

Match 5 - The Big Show def. Eddie Guerrero to retain the WWE Title.

- Chaos reigned to end the show, as Benoit ran down to the ring and hooked on the Crossface on Eddie, but Chavo ran out and started pummeling Benoit. Show Chokeslammed Benoit, but Angle ran out and hooked the Angle Slam on Big Show! Eddie and Chavo pounced on Angle, but Edge ran down to make the save! The four men brawled for a bit, before Brock Lesnar ran out and took out Chavo and Eddie, hitting a vicious overhead belly-to-belly on Chavo and the F5 on Eddie! Edge then ran into an F5 as well, leaving Brock and Angle staring each other down in the ring to end the show.

WWE Velocity - December 21, 2002

Match 1 - Bill DeMott def. Funaki.

Match 2 - Shelton Benjamin def. Danny Doring (brought in for one night as a tryout).

Match 3 - Billy Kidman def. Crash Holly to retain the Cruiserweight Title.

Match 4 - John Cena def. Shannon Moore.

WWE SmackDown! - December 26, 2002

- Stephanie McMahon came out, and said that the winner of the #1 Contender's Tournament would face the Big Show at the Royal Rumble. The three losers would be entered into the Royal Rumble itself on behalf of the SmackDown! Brand.

Match 1 - Cousin Nunzio def. Shannon Moore in his wrestling debut. Nunzio attacked Moore after the match, but Kidman saved.

- Eddie and Chavo talked in the back about their upcoming Tag Team Title match against John Cena and B-Squared. They made fun of the rap-stylings of both guys to the delight of the crowd. Los Guerreros: faces for the evening?

Match 2 - Bill DeMott def. Tajiri.

- John Cena layed out some freestyle rap for all his peeps, and christened himself "C-Fresh" John Cena. B-Squared danced in the background.

Match 3 - Los Guerreros def. C-Fresh and B-Squared to retain the WWE Tag Titles. C-Fresh and B-Squared argued after the match, but instead of fighting, they chose to strike some poses.

- Dawn Marie vowed revenge on Torrie for not only refusing her, but taking away "everything that mattered to her" in her life. She challenged Torrie for next week, in a "falls count anywhere" match. Whoa!!!

Match 4 - Brock Lesnar def. Chris Benoit after Eddie Guerrero interfered on Lesnar's behalf. After the match, Lesnar F5'd Eddie.

- Matt Hardy hit the ring to talk about Mattitude, which really served no purpose. Rikishi eventually interrupted him, and, joy, we have a match.

Match 5 - Matt Hardy def. Rikishi with help from A-Train. Rikishi challenged A-Train and "partners of his choice" to face himself and "his posse" next week in a six-man.

- Brock Lesnar was seen leaving the arena, despite Stephanie McMahon's protesting.

Match 6 - Edge def. Kurt Angle after Paul Heyman distracted Angle, allowing Edge to paste Angle with a spear and get the win.

- Edge said that he was sorry it had to be like that, but he wanted that title, so he'd take a win any way he could get it. A frustrated Angle hit the Angle Slam on Mike Chioda to end the show.

WWE Velocity - December 28, 2003

- Funaki taunted Matt Hardy's "Mattitude" in a pre-match promo.

Match 1 - Matt Hardy def. Funaki.

Match 2 - Kanyon def. Chuck Palumbo in his WWE return.

- A-Train cut a bitter promo about being relegated to Velocity again, talking about how the "puppets in the back" are trying to hold him down because "they aren't manly enough to have this sort of sexy fur" and are jealous of his style.

Match 3 - A-Train def. Tajiri.

Match 4 - Chavo Guerrero def. The Amazing Red in Red's WWE TV debut.

That brings us to now.. and WWE SmackDown for January 2, 2003. It's a new year, it's a new start.

Scheduled for SmackDown!

#1 Contender's Match - Edge vs Brock Lesnar.

Six-Man Tag: Rikishi and 2 mystery partners vs A-Train and 2 mystery partners.

Tag Team Match: Shannon Moore and Billy Kidman vs Jamie Noble and Cousin Nunzio.

Falls Count Anywhere: Dawn Marie vs Torrie Wilson

We will also hear from the Big Show, and Paul Heyman on the show. Will we find out what Kurt Angle is feeling after being screwed out of his #1 contendership shot last week by The Big Show? What will Chris Benoit do after he was cost his match last week by Eddie Guerrero? How down and dirty will the WWE Divas get in a falls count anywhere environment? Just how much *did* Al Wilson mean to Dawn Marie? Who are these "mystery" men? Are they new to the federation, or are they currently on the SmackDown! Brand? All of these questions will be answered, this week on SmackDown!

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Never read this before, so I thank you for the chance to do so now. I have heard many good things in regards to this diary. I hope it lives up to the hype, but something tells me it indeed will.

TGC

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Oh Hell Yeah, my favourite WWE Diary ever hath returned! If I recall rightly this has a Matt Hardy push, a 90% MQ match with Bull Buchanan & the man who puts Violence into Canadian Violence, a psychotic Chris Benoit... I'm happy now...

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WWE SmackDown! - January 2, 2003

Match 1 - Jamie Noble/Cousin Nunzio vs Billy Kidman/Shannon Moore

In a high-flying cruiserweight bout to start the evening, these four went at it to get the crowd into the rest of the show. Moore and Kidman used their high flying abilities to gain the early advantage, but Moore missed a twisting moonsault, which allowed Noble and Nunzio to capitalize and work over Moore. Nunzio used a lot of quick transitions between painful submission holds to keep the upper hand, and Jamie Noble relied more on high-impact moves to retain control. Noble went for the Tiger Bomb, but Moore countered it into a 'rana, and made the tag to Kidman, who was a house-on-fire for awhile, before Nidia was able to distract the ref, allowing a Nunzio low blow, and the heels took control of Kidman. After some more double-teaming from the cousins, Noble tried for a powerbomb on Kidman, but, HELLO, YOU CAN'T POWERBOMB KIDMAN! Kidman made the tag, and Moore reeled off a bunch of high flying moves to get the crowd pumped up, before Noble took both men out of the ring with a flying cross body. In the ring, Kidman missed a shooting star press, and injured his knee. Nunzio applied a vicious Dragon screw legwhip and a half-crab submission, and Kidman had no choice but to tap. Nunzio has pinned the Cruiserweight Champion!

Winners - Jamie Noble & Cousin Nunzio [10'42"]. (70, 56, 84)

In the back, Brock Lesnar is shown arriving in the building. He blows off Mark Loyd, who tries to get a few words with Lesnar. Then, he blows off his good pal Funaki! Lesnar means business tonight. Fans.. well, they don't really seem to care, judging by the rating. (69 - Lesnar lost overness.)

A-Train is in the back, talking about how his master plan is going to be unveiled tonight. He takes off his shirt, as Mark Loyd gags. A-Train takes offense to this, and throws Loyd out of the picture, before telling Rikishi that his fat, dancing ways aren't going to get him anywhere, especially when his new teammates are "far better at that kind of stuff". He finished up by talking about his "manfur" before walking away. (66)

Match 2 - A-Train, ?? and ?? vs Rikishi, ?? and ??

A-Train gets in the ring, and.. OH MY! His partners are B-Squared and C-Fresh! Get it? Rikishi comes out next, laughing at the hilarity, before the lights go out. The mask appears on the TitanTron! Who's that jumpin' out the sky? R - E - Y Mysterio! Here we go! That's right, Rey Mysterio has returned to SmackDown! But, that's not all. The lights go out again! Stand back! There's a Hurricane comin' through! The Hurricane runs out! Two cruiserweights have returned! The commentators go nuts over what sort of trade Stephanie McMahon must've had to have pulled off to get the Hurricane back, but it doesn't matter right now. The faces controlled a good portion of the match, getting lots of cheers from the fans happy to see them back, but Hurricane eventually fell victim to a low blow from Cena, allowing the heels to get control of the match. After the heels dominated for a few minutes, Hurricane was able to hit an out-of-nowhere Hurri-Chokeslam on Cena, and make the tag to Rikishi, who cleaned house with his ass-related offense. After a bit, Hurricane had flown out of the ring onto Cena, while Rey Mysterio hit a 619 on B-Squared, sending him out of the ring. Rey turned around, only to be hit with a Baldo Bomb by Albert, but Rikishi then hit a Samoan Drop on Albert, and brought him to the corner, to hit the Rump Shaker. As he was on the ropes, C-Fresh was able to paste Rikishi with a boom box that he had brought out, while B-Squared distracted the ref. Albert got up and hit a vicious bicycle kick on Rikishi to get the win.

Winners - A-Train, B-Squared and C-Fresh [9'03"]. (67, 68, 67)

In the back, Los Guerreros are plotting. They use some of their crazy stereotypical Latino accents to insult Chris Benoit, before discussing some strategy about Chavo's upcoming match against the Rabid Wolverine himself. Eddie: "Well, ese, when *I* beat the Crippler, holmes, I just did what all good wrestlers do." Chavo: "What's that, Uncle Eddie?" Eddie: "Chavo, amigo, you got to CHEAT TO WIN~!, holmes!" Chavo: "That's brilliant, vato! Uncle Eddie, you're my favorite wrestler!" Eddie: "Ese, I know that! Now get ready, you guys are up soon." (75 - Chavo gained overness.)

We flash to see Dawn Marie stretching in her locker room, preparing for her upcoming falls-count-anywhere match with Torrie Wilson. That match is NEXT! (87 - Dawn gained overness.)

Match 3 - Torrie Wilson vs Dawn Marie - Falls Count Anywhere

This match wasn't pretty, but the crowd was WAY into it, as you don't often see this kind of *ahem* "violence" from the females in WWE. Dawn Marie started the match hot and heavy, using her "brawling" skills to take Torrie all over the arena, including into the fans! They "fought" to the back, where Torrie was able to toss Dawn Marie THROUGH a plate-glass window, and hit a neckbreaker on the floor to get the pin. After the match, Dawn Marie, realizing that she had finally been defeated by the better woman, reached her hand out, and the two shook, though the crowd didn't like that sort of behaviour from Dawn Marie.

Winner - Torrie Wilson [6'10"]. (61, 82, 14 - Dawn lost overness.)

Match 4 - Chris Benoit vs Chavo Guerrero

In a great technical battle that had no crowd heat due to the previous match between the two chicks, Chris Benoit proved that he is a superior wrestler to Chavo, either kicking out of or countering everything that Chavo threw at him, including (at one point) three brainbusters. Chavo eventually tried to take a page out of Uncle Eddie's book, going for a Frog Splash, but it missed. Benoit came back with some blistering knife-edge chops, and four German suplexes, knocking both men into the double KO. Eddie Guerrero sneaked out at this point, bringing his WWE Tag Title belt with him. The ref noticed this, and threw Eddie out of the arena. As the two were arguing outside of the ring, Benoit dove through the ropes with a killer suicide dive that hit mostly Eddie. He got back into the ring, but was pasted with a chairshot by Chavo, allowing Chavo to hit a Frog Splash, and get the pin. After the match, the two men continued their assault, but Benoit's off-and-on again friend Kurt Angle ran down to the ring, clotheslining everything in sight, to make the save. Then, he hit Benoit with an Angle Slam! What is that all about?

Winner - Chavo Guerrero [11'18"]. (61, 37, 85 - Chavo gained.)

Kurt Angle is in the ring when we get back from commercial. He talks about how he was screwed over at Armageddon, and that the WWE Title should definately be his right now. He badmouths commissioner Stephanie McMahon, who then comes out to the ring to calm Angle down. Angle says that it's simple, he wants a title shot, and the beatings will stop. Steph says that he can't just *give* Angle a title shot, especially at this point in time. He's going to have to earn it. He's going to have to win the Royal Rumble to get the title shot! Angle has a tantrum, but calms down and says "Okay." before walking off, leaving the fans AND Steph confused. (84)

Edge is WALKING! towards the ring, when he passes by his former partner Rey Mysterio. Mysterio touches fists with Edge, and wishes him luck, before Edge continues his walk. (86)

Match 5 - Brock Lesnar vs Edge - #1 Contender's Match

This match was hotly contested, and the crowd was split on who to cheer for. A lot of the female audience was on Edge's side, while a lot of the males were on the side of Lesnar. These two engaged in quite a good battle, with Lesnar using his size, coupled with his amateur background, to work over Edge's body with numerous wear-down holds, and high-impact moves. Edge fought back, and managed to hit the Edge-a-cution, for a close 2 count. Edge hit the Edge-o-matic for another close 2, before setting up for a spear. Lesnar moved, and Edge went flying into the turnbuckle. Once he got up, he was met with a stiff overhead belly-to-belly for a two count. Edge was able to escape an F5 and hit Lesnar with the Downward Spiral, which he hasn't used in months, for the double KO. At this point in time, Kurt Angle made his way onto the ramp to watch the match. Once they revived, both men began brawling, and that ended with Edge ducking a haymaker, bouncing off the ropes, and hitting a spear for a very, very close 2. Lesnar was able to bounce back, though, nearly breaking Edge in half with a double powerbomb, which also only got a two. Edge was able to hit a faceplant on Lesnar, and went for another spear, but Lesnar was able to dive OVER the attempt, and hook up the F5 on Edge to win the match, and the #1 Contendership. After a bit of time for each man to catch their breaths, they shook hands, and Lesnar celebrated, while Kurt Angle watched from the aisleway, applauding, to end the show.

Winner, and #1 Contender - Brock Lesnar [14'52"]. (74, 74, 75)

Show Stats

Over-all Show Rating: 67

Television Rating: 5.23

Attendance: 7503 ($465,186)

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Horrible booking. What kind of awesome deal must have been swerved to reaquire these guys... who then do the job. Way to kill off a potentially big deal.

Still, other then that I don't really have anything negative to say.

The thought of a diva deathmatch gave me an erection. Should I seek therapy?

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Yes, you should seek therapy. Lots of therapy.

And yeah, the booking sucked. In fact, it takes awhile for me to get on track with the diary. Some of the promos are really fucking bad, but I eventually get "into" the characters, and begin scripting their promos entirely, as opposed to reeling off one line.

Anyway..

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WWE Velocity - January 4, 2003

Michael Cole welcomes Ernest Miller to the announce table, and they will be the new play-by-play team for Velocity. They quickly run down the happenings on this week's SmackDown!, before "Latiiiino Heat!" echoes through the arena, and they shift their focus to Los Guerreros.

Match 1 - Los Guerreros vs Izzy and Dixie - Non-Title

Izzy and Dixie, formerly Special K in Ring of Honor, and current WWE development workers, get their WWE TV debut tonight, facing the "jackals", Los Guerreros. This match is mainly an Eddie and Chavo squash, but Izzy and Dixie are definately benefitting from the TV exposure, and they are able to each hit a fair amount of their high-flying, whacked out offense, including a springboard top-corkscrew plancha by Izzy, and a nice top-rope somersault plancha by Dixie. Back in the ring, though, the Guerreros got down to business, as Chavo quickly finished off Izzy with a vile brainbuster, dropping Izzy right on his head.

Winners - Los Guerreros [5'57"]. (66, 53, 80 - Dixie gained.)

Matt Hardy's video hits, and out comes the creator of Mattitude himself. He grabs the mic and cuts a pre-match promo about Mattitude, and how "if you guys all could follow Mattitude, not only would your worthless lives actually begin to have meaning, but the world would be a better place!" He turned his attention to his opponent tonight, "some kid", and told him that he would get his Mattitude adjusted tonight, but he'd have to suffer an unfortunate Twist of Fate in the end. (72)

Match 2 - Matt Hardy vs The Amazing Red

Red has his second match on WWE TV, and his exposure from previous federations (Ring of Honor, NWA:TNA) is getting him some alright recognition from the WWE fans. Red was handily outwrestled by his larger foe, but used his blazing speed to keep up with Matt, and hit numerous high flying moves, including a diving no-hands tope con hilo, and the Red Star Press, for a close two count. Red was able to hit his hurricane spinning kick to the head on Matt, as well as the Code Red sunset flip powerbomb, but was unable to put the Hardy boy away. He tried to finish with the Infrared, but Matt moved out of the way and hit the Twist of Fate to end Red's night.

Winner - Matt Hardy [5'15"]. (70, 60, 80 - Red gained.)

Cole and Miller recap the events, and actions that involved Kurt Angle from SmackDown! over the past few weeks, beginning with his loss to The Big Show at Armageddon, and culminating in this weeks attack on Los Guerreros, as well as Chris Benoit. The video is shown to the crowd, who LOVE it. (100 - Angle gained.)

Match 3 - Shelton Benjamin vs Chris Kanyon

In another good match, Kanyon and Benjamin rock the house for a few minutes, going back and forth with holds and counterholds, before Kanyon gains the upper hand with a double-arm suplex. Benjamin fights out of a headlock, and eventually is able to hit the Money Clip on Kanyon, but it only gets two! Kanyon ends up taking the victory with the Flatliner, dubbed "I'm Betta Than You!" by Michael Cole.

Winner - Chris Kanyon [6'07"]. (70, 63, 77)

Match 4 - Bill DeMott vs Funaki

In a rematch from Velocity three weeks ago, angry Tough Enough trainer Bill DeMott uses his size to his advantage, tossing Funaki around like a rag doll for a few minutes, and yelling at him that he's "just not good enough" to be in the WWE. After a few more minutes of SQUASH~!, DeMott goes for the No Laughing Matter moonsault, but it misses! Funaki is able to capitalize with a diving swinging DDT, and it GETS THE PIN! Funaki takes the win! DeMott is NOT happy! He grabs Funaki and plants him with three powerbombs, before blasting him with No Laughing Matter, to successfully turn heel.

Winner - Funaki [4'10"]. (61, 51, 72 - DeMott gained.)

Over-all Show Rating: 62

Television Rating: 5.75

Attendance: 7516 ($465,992)

Note: Kanyon has been permanently promoted to the main roster.

-----------------------------

WWE SmackDown! Preview for January 9, 2003

Tonight on SmackDown!, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon has a big announcement regarding the main event of the show! Who will be participating?

Brock Lesnar is the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, currently held by The Big Show! What will Lesnar do this evening? Will he attack the Big Show? Will the Big Show attack Lesnar? Will the two be involved in a match?

Last week on SmackDown!, A-Train, B-Squared and C-Fresh formed a cohesive, if somewhat odd, unit. These three men are strong as singles competitors, but together, they might just be unstoppable! This week, A-Train faces Rikishi, while C-Fresh goes up against Rey Mysterio, who is wrestling his first singles match in a month.

Also tonight, Nunzio takes on Cruiserweight Champ Billy Kidman in a non-title contest. Chances are that if Nunzio wins this match, he will be awarded a title shot from Commissioner McMahon! How does Nunzio's cousin, Jamie Noble, feel about Nunzio coming in and making such an impact? Will Kidman be able to best the newcomer?

The Hurricane returned to SmackDown! last week, and we found out on Monday's RAW that he and an unnamed talent were traded to SmackDown! for former SmackDown! star Mark Henry. This week, the Hurricane is in action against Chavo Guerrero. Chavo has been taught by his uncle, Eddie Guerrero that in order to win, he must cheat! Will he practice these methods tonight?

Also, Chris Benoit is going to be on the prowl, after he was screwed out of his #1 Contendership spot by Eddie Guerrero, and then was Angle Slammed last week by Kurt Angle. All three of these men will be in the arena, and only trouble can result from that!

What will happen this week on SmackDown? Tune in and find out!

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WWE SmackDown! - January 9, 2003

Commissioner Stephanie McMahon makes her way out, to the cheers from the crowd. She gets into the ring and calls out Kurt Angle. She tells Kurt that he will get his rematch for the World Title, just not tonight. She doesn't want him interfering with other people's business, though, and he'll have to answer to someone who he messed with last week. "Whatever" by Our Lady Peace fires up, and Chris Benoit walks out to a lukewarm response. Angle says that he didn't mean anything when he Angle Slammed Benoit last week, but Benoit isn't in a talking mood. Steph gets in between the two, and says that TONIGHT, here on SmackDown!, Angle will face Benoit! Benoit stares a hole through Angle, who begins leaving the ringside area. (74 - Angle/Steph lose overness.)

Match 1 - The Hurricane vs Chavo Guerrero

In a great match to start the wrestling portion of the show, Chavo Guerrero brings his new tactics of "cheating to win" to use early and often. He attacks Hurricane from behind to start the match, gaining the advantage for the opening portion, before Hurricane ducks a clothesline and hits a jumping Hurri-clothesline to get back into the game. Chavo quickly turns the tides after a low blow, and regains control, working over the arm of the Hurricane. Hurricane fights out of a keylock, and manages to paste Chavo with the Eye of the Hurricane, but was unable to cover, as he had used the injured arm for the move. Chavo tried a second rope swining armbar takedown, but Hurricane was able to land on his feet, and counter Chavo's cheating ways with a poke to the eyes, and a big thumbs up! The crowd loved that! The two went back and forth for the next minute, before Chavo went to smack Hurricane with the WWE Tag Team Title, but Hurricane saw it coming, ducked, and hit the Vertebreaker to get the three count! Chavo threw a tantrum after the match.

Winner - The Hurricane [7'52"]. (77, 65, 90)

In the back, we see Brock Lesnar arriving to the arena. He, once again, blows off Mark Loyd, and continues on his way, when out of nowhere, we see a chair fly into the picture and whack Lesnar on the head! WWE Champion The Big Show plods into the picture, before beating Lesnar down some more, to a chorus of boos from the audience. Show begins laughing, and walks off. (76)

SmackDown!'s number one announcer, Funaki, welcomes his guest tonight, Edge, who gets a massive ovation from the crowd. He says that it was tough luck about his loss to Lesnar last week, for the #1 contendership, but his day will come. He wishes Lesnar the best of luck in his rematch with Big Show at The Royal Rumble, and says that, since he has nothing to do for the show, he will be throwing his name into the Royal Rumble! Crowd pops huge at this, as he says that "by hook or by crook, I WILL get a shot at the WWE Title, and when I do.. all of you Edgeheads out there are looking at a new champion. (79)

As we return from commercial, we see "Moments Ago" footage of Lesnar being attacked by the Big Show with a steel chair. We return to footage of Show leaving the arena with his agent, Paul Heyman! It looks as if the WWE champion is going to avoid any possibility of retribution from Lesnar, at least for this evening! (73 - Show down.)

Match 2 - Rikishi vs A-Train w/ B-Squared and C-Fresh

We sort of get back to wrestling with this contest. It's short, and relatively inoffensive, with Albert attacking before the bell, but Rikishi making a comeback using his only offense (stuff involving his ass), and the crowd getting behind the big Samoan. C-Fresh tries to make a run in, but 'Kish tosses him straight over the top and onto B-Squared! A-Train tries a Baldo Bomb, but Rikishi kicks him, and manages a quick 'Kish Bottom. Rikishi sets up A-Train in the corner for the Rump Shaker, but C-Fresh distracts the ref! While this is going on, D'Lo Brown runs down the aisle!!! But I thought that he is a RAW guy! He gets into the ring, and just PASTES Rikishi with a chairshot, laying him out. A-Train crawls over and makes the cover, getting the three count.

Winner - A-Train [4'01"]. (71, 74, 65 - D'Lo Brown turns heel, loses overness.)

After the match, A-Train grabs the mic, as C-Fresh, B-Squared and D'Lo Brown flank him. He runs down Rikishi, before passing the mic to Brown. Brown quickly rechristens himself as "D-Lo", before badmouthing Rikishi, and the RAW roster and Commissioner Eric Bischoff. C-Fresh gets the mic, and lays it out in freestyle rap form, saying that D-Lo joins the posse, and they are now going by the name of By the Letters. A-Train, B-Squared, C-Fresh and D-Lo are unstoppable, and victory isn't only probable, it's a guarantee, word. (70)

Match 3 - Nunzio w/ Jamie Noble and Nidia vs Kidman - Non-Title

In the singles debut for Nunzio, he impressed all with his knowledge of wrestling skills. It's known that Nunzio has an extensive shoot-fighting background, as well as a good knowledge of submission holds, and Kidman found that out firsthand, having his arm worked over with various stretches and holds. Kidman was able to make a comeback when Nunzio found out that YOU CAN'T POWERBOMB KIDMAN! Kidman hit a nice Sky High, but it only got two. He set up Nunzio for the Shooting Star Press, but it missed, and Kidman hurt his arm more. Nunzio hit a twisting armdrag takedown, and a vicious armbar, using the ropes, as well as Noble and Nidia's hands for leverage, and Kidman was forced to tap out! Nunzio may be in line for a title shot in the very near future. After the match, Noble hit a Tiger Bomb on Kidman, while Nunzio flirted with Nidia, who wasn't too receptive.

Winner - Nunzio [6'18"]. (72, 56, 89)

Match 4 - Rey Mysterio vs C-Fresh w/ B-Squared

C-Fresh and B-Squared made their way back out to the ring, awaiting the arrival of Rey Mysterio, who has yet to have a singles match since his knee surgery about a month ago. Rey was able to attack from behind, hitting a springboard double dropkick onto both B-Squared and C-Fresh! Rey controlled the early portions, using his amazing speed and high-flying prowess to catch Cena offguard, but B-Squared was able to deck Rey as he bounced off the ropes, allowing Cena to take control. At one point, Cena hit a beautiful Emerald Fusion (called by Tazz), and then got into Rey's face, freestyling about how he was better than him, and how he would kick his ass! The crowd showed their disapproval of this. Rey was able to comeback, though, hitting a nice double spring plancha to the floor on both men, before popping Cena with the 619. He tried the West Coast Pop, but B-Squared held Rey's foot. Cena charged at Rey, who flipped over the ropes and somersaulted over Cena's back, then ran to the opposite ropes and sprung off with the West Coast Pop for the three count! Really good match.

Winner - Rey Mysterio [9'16"] (80, 76, 85)

In the back, Mark Loyd finally catches up with Brock Lesnar, who mutters "The Big Show is going to die." before shoving Loyd into some lockers and walking off. Loyd didn't even have a chance to tell him that the Big Show has left the building! (78)

Match 5 - Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit

Of course, we know that this match owned on a wrestling-scale, but the crowd wasn't so into it. It was the usual match between these two, with a couple of new twists thrown in, and certain things left out (like the "continuous German suplex reversal" sequence that completely no-sells the move). The crowd got into the finish, as both guys reeled off high-impact moves for near falls, before Angle was able to hit Benoit with an Angle Slam for the double KO. At this point, Los Guerreros snuck out to ringside, stalking both Benoit and Angle. Angle was up first, and after shooting the Guerreros an angry glare, he turned around, only to be placed in the Crippler Crossface! Benoit was going to make Angle tap! Eddie got up onto the ring apron, and Benoit broke the hold, walking over and decking Eddie in the face, to a massive pop. But, he backed into a German suplex with a bridge from Angle, and his shoulders were down for the count. Angle fled the scene after the match, pointing to his head, while the Guerreros attacked Benoit. Chavo went for a brain buster, but Benoit floated over and locked in the Crossface! Eddie charged at Benoit, but Benoit released the hold at just the right moment, and grabbed Eddie and gave him one, too! Eddie was tapping like a madman as the show went off the air.

Winner - Kurt Angle [12'59"]. (80, 70, 91 - Benoit turned face, gained overness.)

Show Stats

Over-all Show Rating: 70 (+3)

Television Rating: 5.23 (EVEN)

Attendance: 7503 ($465,186) (-5)

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WWE Velocity - January 11, 2003

Match 1 - The Hurricane vs Michael Shane

We head straight to action this week, as development talent Michael Shane, nephew of Shawn Michaels makes his return to WWE TV this week. As a few of you know, Shane has worked for Ring of Honor before, and has made a name for himself in that fed. Tonight, he goes up against the Hurricane, who basically takes him to school. Shane has a good portion of offense, using heelish tactics to maintain his advantage. He goes up top for the "Picture Perfect Elbow", ala his uncle, HBK, but it misses it's target. Hurricane makes the classic comeback, hitting his signature moves in succession, before Shane flips out of a Vertebreaker attempt and pastes Hurricane with a superkick! It gets a very close two! He argues with the ref for a moment, before setting up for another one. This time, Hurricane ducks, and hits a Vertebreaker to get the win. Michael Shane is impressing me more and more with every showing, and I might think of bringing him up permanently soon.

Winner - The Hurricane [5'47"]. (68, 51, 85)

Velocity commentators Michael Cole and Ernest Miller throw to a video package, detailing the rise of the new stable on SmackDown!, By the Letters. History of the group is shown (which is only about three weeks old), with A-Train being joined by B-Squared and C-Fresh, and this weeks induction of D-Lo. Commentators are all over these guys, and promise big things for them. (91 - C-Fresh gains overness.)

Match 2 - B-Squared/C-Fresh vs Funaki/Tajiri

Funaki and Tajiri run down their opponents before the match, getting a fairly good crowd reaction. The match basically consists of By the Letters working over their smaller opponents, before Tajiri gets a hot tag and hits his spots to pick the crowd interest up. Funaki hits a nice jumping swinging DDT on B-Squared, but turns around and takes a Freshmaker from C-Fresh. Cena turns around, and gets pasted in the face by a stiff Tajiri kick! But then, Tajiri turns around and takes a nice flying clothesline from B-Squared, and is pinned.

Winners - By the Letters [5'00"]. (70, 60, 80)

Match 3 - Kanyon vs Nova

Kanyon has been promoted to the SmackDown! roster, but tonight, Nova, the OVW Champion, wanted to prove to himself, Kanyon, and Commissioner Stephanie McMahon that he was ready to be promoted as well. These two had a great match, with Nova using all of his original, patent-pending, Nova-only moves, and getting the crowd into the match. Kanyon was able to comeback, and use some original offense of his own to keep in the match. After a good match, Nova went for a diving hurricanrana, but Kanyon moved out of the way, and Nova crashed into the mat. Kanyon wrapped up Nova's legs, put his feet on the ropes, and was able to get the three count. Nova fumed in the ring, promising that Kanyon has not seen the last of him.

Winner - Kanyon [6'02"]. (74, 65, 83)

We take a look at Edge, WALKING! in the back, making his way towards the entrance. Cole nearly orgasms at announcing the main event of tonight's show, Edge versus Matt Hardy, Version 1. (85)

Match 4 - Edge vs Matt Hardy

Before the match, Matt got on the mic and told Edge that if he had a little more Mattitude, he might just be the number one contender today. Matt said that, had HE been entered in the tournament, then we'd definately be ushering in the era of Mattitude at The Royal Rumble, but as is, he'll just have to sit back while management holds him down because they fear change. Edge attacked Hardy, and the two had a very good match, especially considering it's Velocity, and all. Matt works over Edge for the first portion of the match, using his cocky ways to get the crowd riled up, but Edge made the comeback, as per usual, and hit the Edge-o-matic for a close two count. Matt Hardy hit the Side Effect after countering an Edge spear, for another two count. Matt missed the yodellin' legdrop, and Edge hit the faceplant for another near fall. Edge set up Matt for the Edge-a-cution, but Matt knee'd Edge in the gut and hit a quick roll-up, pulling the tights, but still not getting three. Matt went for the Twist of Fate, but Edge pushed him off, and as Matt bounced off the ropes, Edge hit him with a nice spear to get the three count.

Winner - Edge [6'56"]. (79, 79, 80)

Show Stats:

Over-all Show Rating: 69 (+7)

Television Rating: 5.75 (EVEN)

Attendance: 7516 ($465,992) (+4996)

Edited by grind your soul
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WWE SmackDown! - January 16, 2003

Matt Hardy, Version 1 makes his way out to the ring. He grabs a mic, and begins telling the fans how the Era of Mattitude has begun. He talks about how management is holding him down, because they fear the changes that he will bring to the company. Changes that are for the better for himself, for the fans, and for the entire WWE empire. Mattitude is a positive thing, and WWE management are the bad guys in this situation. "They've sent out their 'lackey superhero', The Hurricane, to try and stop the Era of Mattitude before it begins. But fear not, MF'ers, for The Hurricane is about to suffer, an unfortunate Twist of Fate." - (70)

Match 1 - Matt Hardy vs The Hurricane

This was a good match to start the show, as the Hurricane is getting himself way over since his return to SmackDown! three weeks ago, and Matt Hardy is gaining his own following of people with his "Mattitude" gimmick. The match is back and forth for a few minutes, with each guy hitting a couple of signature spots, such as The Hurricane's leaping Hurri-clothesline, the Overcast neckbreaker, and diving neckbreaker. Matt Hardy fought back and hit a quick Side Effect, as well as a picture-perfect vertical suplex and a nice back suplex into a side slam. Matt was able to duck a second attempt at the Overcast, and go to work on the superhero. Hurricane fought out of a headlock, and the two went back and forth for another minute, before Hurricane tried the Vertebreaker, but Matt slipped out, hit a rolling reverse cradle, and grabbed the ropes for the win.

Winner - Matt Hardy [6'48"]. (71, 73, 85)

In the back, Jamie Noble, Nidia and Nunzio are discussing Noble's upcoming non-title match with Billy Kidman. Nunzio says that he is going to be the first in line to get a title shot against Kidman, while Noble says that after he beats Kidman tonight, HE should be the first one to get the shot. The two get into a bit of an argument before Nidia calms them down and tells Noble to just worry about the match, and not to bother with his "fruitcake" cousin. Noble and Nidia walk off, leaving Nunzio confused. (66)

Match 2 - Rey Mysterio vs A-Train w/ D-Lo

A surprisingly good match, with A-Train controlling for the most part, but Rey making him look like a million bucks with his great selling. A-Train, usually slow and plodding, kept up a good pace on offense, using a lot of power moves, while the crowd chanted at him to "shave your back". A-Train's constant distraction allowed Rey to get back into things, hitting a nice diving dropkick for the double KO. D-Lo tried to get involved, but Rey pasted him with the 619, before hitting Albert with a 619 as well. He went for the West Coast Pop, but Albert turned it into the Baldo Bomb! Rey was able to kick out, though, to a big reaction. A-Train fumed at the ref, and D-Lo climbed to the top to try and hit the Lo Down on Rey, but Rey moved, and then popped to the top rope, hitting the West Coast Pop on A-Train and getting the three count. A-Train and D-Lo went nuts after the match, with A-Train hitting ref Mike Chioda with the Baldo Bomb!

Winner - Rey Mysterio [5'50"]. (71, 74, 85)

In the back, Brock Lesnar begins talking about what he's going to do to The Big Show when he gets his hands on him, but Show attacks Lesnar from behind again! Lesnar is pasted with a chair, but Kurt Angle runs into the picture with a chair of his own, scaring Show off! Angle helps Lesnar up, and the two stare down for a second before Lesnar walks off, leaving Angle smirking. (76 - Angle turned face, gained overness from the turn, lost it from the segment.)

Match 3 - Jamie Noble w/ Nidia and Nunzio vs Billy Kidman - Non-Title

The crowd wasn't too into this match, but the wrestling was ab fab. Kidman started off quickly, but Noble was able to catch a kick and Dragon Screw Kidman down. Noble worked over Kidman's leg for a good portion, hoping that it would hamper Kidman's high flying abilities and possibly stop Kidman from hitting the Shooting Star Press. Kidman was able to hit an enziguiri for the double KO, and then he made the classic comeback, culminating in a Sky High for a close two count. Kidman went up top, but missed a flying dropkick for another, shorter, double KO. Noble tried for the Tiger Bomb, but YOU CAN'T POWERBOMB KIDMAN!!! Kidman set Noble up in the corner, and went up for the Shooting Star, as Nunzio distracted the ref. Nidia tried to distract Kidman, but it didn't work, and Kidman kicked her off the apron. He jumped down and went after Nunzio, as Noble got back to his feet. Noble charged at Kidman, who moved, and he blasted Nunzio! Kidman hit an inverted DDT on Noble and hit the Shooting Star Press to get the win. Noble and Nunzio argued after the match.

Winner - Billy Kidman [7'02"]. (66, 61, 87)

An irate Paul Heyman issues a challenge for Kurt Angle to fight his client, The Big Show, TONIGHT! This will be a non-title affair, of course, but the crowd is still jacked at the announcement. (80)

Still in the back, Los Guerreros go on a rant about how they have to face Chris Benoit and "that pretty boy Canadian", Edge, for the WWE Tag Team Titles. Chavo says that it's unfair to them, because it was just announced earlier today, and they had no time to prepare, while Benoit and Edge probably knew about it already. Eddie talks about how they're conspired against because of their "Latino Heat", which makes the management jealous of them. Matt Hardy interrupts at this point, and says that he knows that they're good, and he knows that they can beat those two "non-followers" tonight, because they know what Mattitude is all about. Then he leaves, while Chavo and Eddie wonder what the hell he was talking about. (70 - Chavo gained.)

Match 4 - Los Guerreros* vs Chris Benoit/Edge - WWE Tag Team Titles

A typical WWE formula tag match, with some back-and-forth action for the first five minutes, before the Guerreros catch Benoit in the ring alone and work him over for a bit. Edge gets the hot tag, and cleans house, and wakes up the crowd, before HE falls pray to the Guerreros, who then work Edge over for the extended heel heat segment. Edge finally is able to duck a clothesline and spear Chavo, and make the hot tag to Benoit, who goes nuts, hitting both Guerreros with German suplex after German suplex, culminating with the swandive headbutt onto Chavo. Eddie is able to break up the count, but Edge is back in, and the two fight outside of the ring. Benoit is distracted by these two fighting, and turns around into a Chavo kick. He slips out of a brain buster and puts on the Crippler Crossface, but the ref is distracted with Edge and Eddie. Eddie manages to slip away and slide a WWE Tag Title belt into Chavo, who counters the Crossface by throwing the belt and hitting Benoit in the head, breaking the hold. Eddie then hops to the top and gets Froggy on Benoit, before Chavo makes the cover and gets the win. Great match.

Winners, Still Champs - Los Guerreros [16'23"]. (76, 82, 88 - Chavo, WWE Tag Titles both gain.)

SmackDown! Commissioner Stephanie McMahon makes her way out to some good cheers. She tells the fans that tonight's match between The Big Show and Kurt Angle will not be non-title! No, it WILL be for the WWE Title! Crowd goes nuts! She also announces that at The Royal Rumble, Billy Kidman will defend his WWE Cruiserweight Title against the #1 contender, Nunzio. Also, next week will see Chavo Guerrero face Chris Benoit, and that at The Royal Rumble, Chris Benoit will face Eddie Guerrero in a rematch from Armageddon! Also at The Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar gets a rematch with The Big Show. Stephanie says that regardless of the Big Show's title status, the match WILL happen. Should Kurt Angle win the match, though, he will be entered into that match, and it will be a Triple Threat match! She says that next week, she will name all of the SmackDown! participants in the Royal Rumble match itself, and that a couple are going to be "very surprising". She thanks the crowd, and says that the WWE Title match is next! (88)

Match 5 - The Big Show* vs Kurt Angle - WWE Title

This match was pretty slow and plodding, not quite "better than expected" like their match at Armageddon. Big Show s..l..o..w..l..y wears down Angle with his plodding offense, including a three minute bear hug of doom. Angle fights out and works over Show's legs while the crowd cheers him on. Brock Lesnar is seen watching the match in the back, but he doesn't show any emotion as he watches. In the ring, Angle has just hit a missle dropkick on Show for the double KO. After a few more minutes of whatever, Show gets Angle in yet another bear hug, but he quickly fights out and hits the Angle Slam! 1!!! 2!!! HEYMAN PULLS THE REF OUT! Crowd is going nuts, as Angle hits a PLANCHA ONTO HEYMAN! Crowd explodes at that one! Angle begins badmouthing Heyman, and crawls into the ring.. SHOW-SLAM. 1!!! 2!!! KICKOUT!!! ANGLE KICKS OUT! CROWD BLOWS UP! SHOW IS ANGRY! Show grabs Angle for another one.. Angle slips behind.. ANGLE LOCK! SHOW IS GOING TO TAP! HEYMAN DECKS THE REF FROM BEHIND! WHAT THE HELL?! Heyman gets in the ring and distracts Angle, while Show gets up and gets a chair.. WHAM into Angle's back! AGAIN! Angle is down and writhing in pain! ANOTHER CHAIR SHOT! Crowd is booing mercilessly. Show lifts up Angle.. SHOW-SLAM on the chair! He lifts him up again, SHOW-SLAM! Heyman wakes the ref up, and we get the three count. Heyman instructs Show to hit Angle with the chair again, but HERE COMES THE PAIN! Brock Lesnar runs out, and pastes Heyman, before hitting Show with the F5 onto a chair! Crowd is just going nuts as Show and Angle stare down again to end the show.

Winner, Still Champ - The Big Show [10'51"]. (75, 87, 80 - WWE Title loses image.)

Show Stats

Over-all Show Rating: 68 (-2) One of those nights. :angry:

Television Rating: 5.23 (EVEN)

Attendance: 8034 ($498,108) (+531)

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WWE Royal Rumble Preview (so far)

It's January, and that means that it's Royal Rumble time again. This year, the Royal Rumble eminates from Boston, Massachusetts, and it promises to be a great one. Already, SmackDown! Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff have announced the line-ups that their respective brands will present at the show.

In addition, each leader has also named their participants for the Royal Rumble match itself. Of course, with the current brand extension, lots of controversy has been brewing over just how the Royal Rumble winner will be decided. It has been announced that the winner of the Royal Rumble match will receive a shot at their respective brands championship. The brand who does NOT win the Royal Rumble match will have an 8-man #1 Contender's Tournament to decide who gets a shot at that brands championship. This way, #1 Contenders will each be selected for a WrestleMania title shot, but the Royal Rumble, as grueling as it is, will be the easier way to get a title shot this year, proving the stakes to be even higher.

So far, here is what the card looks like:

World Title: Champion Triple H vs Scott Steiner

WWE Title: Champion The Big Show vs Brock Lesnar

Women's Title: Champion Victoria vs Trish Stratus

WWE Cruiserweight Title: Champion Billy Kidman vs Nunzio

Eddie Guerrero vs Chris Benoit

Christopher Nowinski vs Maven

The Royal Rumble: Edge, Kurt Angle, A-Train, B-Squared, C-Fresh, D-Lo, Bill DeMott, Matt Hardy, Chavo Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Rikishi, Tajiri, Booker T, Batista, Chris Jericho, Christian, Goldust, Jeff Hardy, Kane, Mark Henry, Rob Van Dam, Test, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Lance Storm, William Regal

SmackDown! Commissioner Stephanie McMahon has stated that the final two entrants on behalf of SmackDown! will be revealed at the show itself. She promises that these two entrants will be greatly received as they have been missing for a long while. Also, RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff has announced that he has given up one of his 15 spots in the Royal Rumble match, so that a mystery free agent can fill it. He is so sure that this free agent will sign with RAW that he has forfeited his 15th entrant. Who is this mystery man?

Join us for The Royal Rumble, LIVE on PPV on January 26, 2003!

---------------------------------------

WWE Velocity - January 18, 2003

Note: I'm going to start doing more abbreviated Velocity results, as the program really doesn't have much effect on the rest of the SmackDown! Brand just yet. So these results will be pretty short.

By The Letters come out to the ring for an interview. They basically promise that tonight, they will destroy their four opponents in the big 8-man tag, and say that the revolution starts NOW! (70)

Match 1 - Jamie Noble def. Paul London [6'01"]. (64, 39, 89)

A very good match to kick off the show, as Paul London shows that he is a great up-and-comer in WWE. He is getting more over with each match on TV, and is wowing crowds in OVW with his high-flying skills. Today, Jamie Noble makes him look great, before destroying him with a Tiger Bomb.

Match 2 - Bill DeMott def. Chuck Palumbo [5'51"]. (67, 64, 71)

DeMott's destruction of his opponents continues, as he beats down Palumbo for a good while, berating him verbally along the way, before polishing him off with the No Laughing Matter moonsault. DeMott is getting slightly more over due to his constant destroying of jobbers to the stars.

In the back, Kanyon is WALKING! to the ring, hyping himself up for his match. (69)

Match 3 - Kanyon def. Nova [7'18"]. (74, 65, 84)

In a rematch from last week, Nova tried to prove himself to be worthy of a full-time WWE contract, but Kanyon showed that he was BACK, baby, hitting a lot of good moves and taunting his opponent and the crowd throughout the match. This match was very well contested, one of the better Velocity matches in some time. Kanyon was able to put this one away after moving out of the way of a moonsault and hitting I'm Betta Than You! for the pinfall. Expect Kanyon to return to SmackDown! this week. He's already been entered into the Royal Rumble match!

Match 4 - By the Letters def. Rey Mysterio, Hurricane, Funaki & Tajiri [10'08"]. (73, 64, 83)

By the Letters can get things done as a unit, and they show it here, with a great 8-man tag team main event. Cena spent the majority of the match wrestling for his team, and their cruiserweight opponents got a very good match out of the team. After 7 minutes of straightforward WWE-style tag team formula, all hell broke loose and an 8-man melee began. It ended a few minutes later, with Hurricane getting slammed into the ringpost on the outside by B-Squared, A-Train hitting the Baldo Bomb on the floor on Tajiri, D-Lo countering an attempted West Coast Pop off the ring barricade into a powerbomb, and C-Fresh hitting the Freshmaker on Funaki in the ring, getting the pinfall.

Show Stats:

Over-all Show Rating: 70 (+1)

Television Rating: 5.75 (EVEN)

Attendance: 8022 ($497,364) (+506)

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WWE SmackDown! - January 23, 2003

Match 1 - By The Letters w/ D-Lo vs Rey Mysterio, Edge & Billy Kidman

A good match that sees the heel stable control most of the offense, to further get them over. The standard WWE-style tag match takes place, with Rey playing the face-in-peril, before tagging in Kidman to beat down Cena for awhile. Kidman then plays the face-in-peril when he becomes overmatched against A-Train and the cheating of the other two men. Kidman eventually is able to make his comeback when B-Squared finds out that YOU CAN'T POWERBOMB KIDMAN. Kidman tags Edge, who waylays all three members of the opposing team, and even meets D-Lo with a punch when he climbs up on the apron. It's BONZO GONZO as Edge hits Cena with the Edge-O-Matic, but Albert pulls him off and hits the Baldo Bomb. A-Train takes a bit too long to make the cover, and Rey pastes him with a springboard flying dropkick to send him out of the ring. Rey turns around and takes a vicious springboard diving clothesline from B-Squared. B-Squared turns around, though, and is met with a sloppy Kidman Sky High. Due to B-Squared being so big, Kidman didn't get much impact on the move, but it still hit nice. Kidman turned around, but was met with a bicycle kick from A-Train, taking him out of the picture. Albert was ready to hit Rey with the Baldo Bomb, but in mid-move(!!!), Edge speared A-Train, sending him into the ropes, where he was hit with the six one nine, the West Coast Pop, and pinned, giving the win to the faces.

Winners - Edge, Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman [12'23"]. (66, 69, 80)

We go to the back, into Commissioner Stephanie McMahon's office. She is on the phone talking about the WWE Champion The Big Show, and his opponent at the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar. All of a sudden, Kanyon barges in, making his return to WWE SmackDown! Kanyon hangs the phone up on Steph and begins talking about when he would get a match on the show, and how happy he is to be back. Steph looks a bit pissed, but calms down. She welcomes him back, and says that it's great that he chose to come to SmackDown!, because "Who betta than KANYON?. Then she says that tonight, his official "welcome" to the show would come when he faces none other than BROCK LESNAR. Kanyon freaks out at this, and pleads with Steph for her to reconsider. Steph: "Chris, maybe next time you won't hang up on me while I'm talking to my father." She walks away, leaving Kanyon to freak out. - (76)

Match 2 - Chris Benoit vs Chavo Guerrero

Another technical masterpiece from two of the best on SmackDown!. Benoit comes out firing on all cylinders, lighting Chavo up with some vicious chops and other forms of Canadian Violence, but Chavo is able to turn the tide by going low on Benoit during an attempted suplex. Chavo spends the next five minutes hitting Benoit with numerous high impact moves, and working over Benoit's head, setting him up for the brain buster. Benoit is able to hop over Chavo's first attempt, and lock in the Crossface, but Chavo is too close to the ropes. After some more fighting, Chavo is able to hit a Gory Bomb on Benoit, but his attempted Frog Splash hits nothing but mat. Benoit hits Chavo with three German suplexes, and the diving headbutt, but he can't cover. Benoit goes for another German, but Chavo hops and rolls through, grabbing the ropes.. but the ref sees it and won't count! Chavo begins arguing with the ref, giving Benoit time to recover, and when Chavo charges, he's met with the Crossface! Chavo taps! Before Benoit can even break the hold, Chavo's uncle Eddie Guerrero is in the ring and stomping Benoit in the head. He hits Benoit with a brain buster, and the Frog Splash, leaving him laying.

Winner - Chris Benoit [8'18"]. (71, 69, 90)

Match 3 - D-Lo vs The Hurricane

Two recent RAW defectors got it on in this contest. Hurricane came out flying, hitting a few of his signature spots early, but D-Lo was ready for him, blasting him with a dirty sit-out face-first powerbomb. D-Lo went to work on Hurricane, but it didn't last long, as Hurricane ducked a crescent kick, and pasted D-Lo with the Shining Wizard for the double KO. Hurricane was a house on fire, hitting the jumping clothesline, flying crossbody, Overcast neckbreaker, and floatover neckbreaker all in quick succession, bringing out D-Lo's stablemate C-Fresh. D-Lo distracted the ref in one corner, while Cena got into the ring and nailed the Freshmaker on Hurricane, laying him out. D-Lo quickly hit the Lo Down and covered to get the pin.

Winner - D-Lo [5'56"]. (66, 64, 84 - D-Lo gained, Hurricane lost.)

We go to a video, which commentators Michael Cole and Tazz hype as "the return of a monster" to SmackDown!. We see a few flashes of a logo, with some somewhat-familiar music blasting in the background, before the words "He's Back, and Out For Blood" come up. Then, we see about a million shots of THE GORE! GORE! GORE! My god, RHYNO IS RETURNING TO WWE! RHYNO IS IN THE ROYAL RUMBLE! RHYNO! Crowd LOVED this. - (99 - Rhyno gained.)

Matt Hardy, Version 1.0 is in the back with Mark Loyd. Loyd asks Matt about his upcoming match with Kurt Angle. Matt talks about how Angle may have his "three I's", but he doesn't have the Mattributes to pull off the victory. He compliments Angle on his past achievements, and even his great skills in the ring, but says that when the two match-up, Mattitude will always overcome adversity. Mattitude will no longer be oppressed by the suits in the back, and tonight, he's going to prove why he deserves his spot and, unfortunately for Angle, he's going to suffer an unfortunate.. Twist of Fate. - (81 - Matt gained.)

Match 4 - Kurt Angle vs Matt Hardy

This was a great match, with the crowd getting heavily involved, chanting "We Want Jeff" (the ungrateful bastards), "Angle! Angle! Angle!", "Matt sucks! *clap clap*", and other chants. The match started off quickly, with Matt actually able to outwrestle Angle and get him in a roll-up for an early two count! Angle looked on, frustrated, while Matt celebrated. On the second try, however, Matt didn't fare so well, being soundly outwrestled, as Angle followed up by mocking Matt's celebration. After that, Matt got dirty. It was a back-and-forth affair for the first few minutes, with Angle showing his superior wrestling skills, but Matt able to come up with some very good counters to stay in the game. Eventually, Matt went for a rolling reverse cradle , but Angle held onto the ropes. Angle charged Matt, but Matt hit Angle with a NICE version of Angle's trademark overhead belly-to-belly, sending Angle flying out of the ring. Matt worked Angle over for the next few minutes, pausing to taunt the crowd more than he should have. Angle was able to fight out of a chinlock, and hit Matt with a German suplex to send both men down. Matt was up first, and scaled the top, but Angle caught him with the running top-rope overhead belly-to-belly to a huge pop. Angle was up first now, and he pulled the straps down to show that he meant business! Angle hit his rolling Germans on Matt, with the crowd counting along. Matt was able to counter by grabbing the ropes, but Angle ran Matt into the turnbuckle, and just amazed the crowd with the ROLLING REVERSE CRADLE INTO A GERMAN SUPLEX!!! He wasn't able to hold the bridge, though, but the crowd roared on in approval of Angle's new move. Angle made the cover, but Matt showed his resilience by kicking out. Angle was incensed, and waited for Matt to get to his feet.. Angle Slam NO! Matt jumps over, and rolls Angle up but NO, Angle rolls out! Matt kicks Angle in the gut.. Twist of Fate NO Angle pushes Matt off and into the ropes! Angle ducks the clothesline, ANGLE SLAM! ONE TWO THREE ANGLE WINS! After the match, Matt Hardy grabs the ref and starts yelling at him that he had the ropes (when it was obvious that he didn't, considering the pin occured in the middle of the ring), but it was to no avail. Great match!

Winner - Kurt Angle [14'28"]. (75, 81, 87)

Kanyon is WALKING! to the ring, looking a bit more intimidated than he should, and talking to himself about how it's unfair to him to be facing Lesnar in his "first match back". - (76)

Brock Lesnar is in his dressing room, doing the happy dance to prepare for the match. He looks at the camera, before he begins WALKING! out to the ring. - (74)

Match 5 - Brock Lesnar vs Kanyon

Welcome back to SmackDown!, Kanyon. Have some SQUASH. Kanyon tried his best here, but a pissed off Lesnar was just too much for him to handle. Kanyon cheated out the wazoo, but it seemed as though everything he did just angered Brock more. Kanyon tried for the I'm Betta Than You!, but Brock countered that into a disgusting STO. He hit an overhead belly-to-belly, a brutal throwaway German suplex, a clothesline so stiff that Bradshaw is asking about how the hell he did it, and finally finishing him off with the F5. Brock Lesnar is READY for his WWE Championship match this Sunday at Royal Rumble..

Winner - Brock Lesnar [6'58"]. (72, 75, 88)

..but wait, here comes the WWE Champion, The Big Show! He gets in the ring from behind Lesnar.. CHOKESLAM! What a vile chokeslam! He grabs Lesnar and beals him over the top rope! Lesnar takes a HUGE bump on the floor, and Show follows him out. Show sets him up.. CHOKESLAM THROUGH THE TABLE! The Big Show has laid out his Royal Rumble opponent! Will it happen this Sunday when the two meet face-to-face?! BE THERE FOR THE ROYAL RUMBLE!!! - (79)

Show Stats

Over-all Show Rating: 71 (+2) One of those nights.. AGAIN! :angry:

Television Rating: 5.23 (EVEN)

Attendance: 8016 ($496,992) (-18)

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WWE Velocity - January 25, 2003

Match 1 - Paul London def. Michael Shane [6'04"]. (49, 29, 82)

These two OVW workers were given a WWE TV tryout, working against each other on Velocity. These two have faced each other about a million times over the years, and so were able to work an amazing match. The crowd was completely dead for the first bit, but after some breathtaking moves from both men, they got more involved. The end came when Shane went for the Picture Perfect Elbow, but London was able to move. London was able to paste Shane with a vicious backflip dropkick, and then finish Shane with a nice twisting 450 splash, called the "Phoenix Press".

Match 2 - Jamie Noble def. Tajiri [5'04"]. (70, 66, 90 - Tajiri lost, Noble gained.)

This match was a good, fast-paced affair, with Tajiri bringing the killer kicks, and Noble trying to counter that by working Tajiri's legs. Noble was able to hit a lot of knee-based offense, but Tajiri kept fighting back and using his feet as weapons. The end came when Tajiri tried the handspring elbow, but Noble CLIPPED THE KNEES mid-move, getting a big "OHHHH!" out of the crowd. Noble then grabbed Tajiri, hit the Tiger Driver, and then applied the Trailer Hitch for the tapout.

Match 3 - B-Squared def. Rikishi [5'18"]. (54, 60, 63 - B2 up, Rikishi down.)

A plodding match from these two sees B-Squared pull out the victory after moving out of the way of 'Kishi's Rump Shaker, and pasting the 'Kish with a nice leaping turnaround flying clothesline to get the pin. Not much to say about it, because.. hell, if these two fought in real life, you know how it would go.

The Hurricane talks about his opponent tonight, Bill DeMott. He mentions how DeMott is just a big bully, who needs to treat people smaller than him like crap, because he can't fight someone his own size. "Wassupwitdat?" Well how will he feel dealing with a SUPERHERO, such as himself? Tonight, DeMott better watch out, because there's a HURRICANE comin' through! - (74)

Bill DeMott responds to these comments, saying that he's tired of hearing people call him a bully. All he's trying to do is show his opponents that they are NOT tough enough to be fighting him. - (58)

Match 4 - Bill DeMott def. The Hurricane [5'20"]. (66, 68, 80 - Hurricane down, DeMott up.)

A better-than-expected match out of these two sees Hurricane bump like a madman for DeMott's offense. Hurricane is eventually able to come back and hit his spots, but his attempt at a chokeslam is laughed at by DeMott. Hurricane takes exception, pausing for a moment to ask DeMott "Wassupwitdat?" DeMott took advantage of this and kicked Hurricane low, hitting a brutal powerbomb on him, and finishing the superhero off with the No Laughing Matter for the win.

Show Stats:

Over-all Show Rating: 62 (-8) ANOTHER one of those days! FUCK! :angry:

Television Rating: 5.75 (EVEN)

Attendance: 8036 ($498,232) (+14)

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WWE ROYAL RUMBLE Preview

The Royal Rumble is always the first pay-per-view extravaganza of the new year, and WWE always tries to put out the best show possible. The Royal Rumble is generally considered to be the third largest event of the entire WWE calender year, right behind WrestleMania and SummerSlam, and the crowd is always pumped for the 30-man Royal Rumble match itself. This year promises to be no different, as we have seven action packed matches lined up, three from RAW, three from SmackDown!, and the Royal Rumble match itself, which will feature competitors from both brands.

THE ROYAL RUMBLE

The Royal Rumble match is always the showcase attraction at the show. This year, with the brand extension going on, 15 SmackDown! superstars, and 14 RAW superstars will be filling out 29 of the 30 entrants. The 30th entrant? RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff has stated that he has given up his 15th slot in the match, so it may be filled by a mystery free agent. Bischoff is so sure that this mystery man will sign with RAW, that he has no problem giving up one of his slots in the match. Who is this free agent? Also, SmackDown! Commissioner Stephanie McMahon had stated that two of her 15 slots would be filled by returning superstars. This week on SmackDown!, we found out that one of those men is the returning Rhyno, who hasn't been seen in more than a year. But who is the 15th SmackDown! entrant?

Royal Rumble Participants:

Rhyno, Edge, Kurt Angle, A-Train, B-Squared, C-Fresh, D-Lo, Bill DeMott, Matt Hardy, Chavo Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Rikishi, Tajiri, Booker T, Batista, Chris Jericho, Christian, Goldust, Jeff Hardy, Kane, Mark Henry, Rob Van Dam, Test, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Lance Storm, William Regal, returning SmackDown! star, mystery free agent.

SmackDown! Brand Matches

WWE Title: (Champion) The Big Show vs Brock Lesnar

This rivalry has been building for three months now, dating back to Survivor Series in November. Brock Lesnar's "agent", Paul Heyman, turned on his client, and sided with the Big Show to help him capture the WWE Title. At the following pay-per-view, Armageddon, the Big Show was able to retain his title over Kurt Angle, again, with help from Heyman. Brock Lesnar was in Angle's corner, but could not prevent the loss to Angle due to nefarious means. Since then, Lesnar won an 8-man single-elimination tournament, besting Edge in the finals, to become the #1 Contender, and earn his shot here tonight. This match could be a classic big man battle.

WWE Cruiserweight Title: (Champion) Billy Kidman vs Nunzio

Since his debut in WWE, Nunzio, cousin of Jamie Noble has been on a tear. Nunzio debuted after Noble was defeated by Kidman on SmackDown! on December 19, and pummelled Kidman with help from Noble. The next week, Nunzio easily disposed of Shannon Moore, and even continued his assault after the match, until Kidman made the save. On January 2, 2003, Kidman and Moore teamed up to face Noble and Nunzio, and Nunzio was able to make Kidman tap out! Nunzio then went on to face Kidman in a non-title match, and was able to pin Kidman to the mat, earning himself a title shot. As a side-story, Nunzio has been having some problems with his cousin Jamie Noble, who seems to be showing signs of jealousy that Nunzio has entered WWE and made such an impact, while Noble has suffered back-to-back losses against Billy Kidman. Will Noble be there to help Nunzio at Royal Rumble?

Eddie Guerrero vs Chris Benoit

These former best friends have been involved in a bitter rivalry over the past couple of months. At Armageddon, Eddie was able to get a cheap victory over Benoit after some help from Eddie's nephew, Chavo Guerrero. Since then, Eddie has given Benoit numerous beatings, including a vicious attack on Benoit's head following a victory against Chavo Guerrero on SmackDown! last week. This feud will culminate at the Royal Rumble, but who will come out on top?

RAW Brand Matches

World Heavyweight Title: Triple H* vs Scott Steiner

Women's Title: Victoria* vs Trish Stratus

Maven vs Christopher Nowinski

Sunday Night Heat Match: Jamie Noble vs The Hurricane

The Royal Rumble comes to you LIVE! this Sunday, January 26, 2003, from Boston, Massechusetts. Be sure to be there as we ring in the new year with action that can only be brought to you by World Wrestling Entertainment!

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WWE Sunday Night Heat Main Event

Match 1 - Jamie Noble vs The Hurricane

This match was the usual Sunday Night Heat affair, only in place to get the crowd pumped up for the big show. Noble, feuled by a jealous rage because his cousin Nunzio has earned a Cruiserweight Title shot tonight, while he wrestles on the pre-show, took it to the superhero early. Hurricane was able to come back, though, and the two put on a hell of a match, getting the crowd riled up nicely. Both men reeled off some big moves, including a Shining Wizard, Overcast neckbreaker, diving clothesline and flying crossbody from the Hurricane, and a tiger driver, flying gutbuster, and a sunset flip powerbomb from Noble. The end came when Noble set Hurricane up for a second Tiger Driver, but Hurricane was able to backdrop out of it. Noble held on, and turned it into a sunset flip, but bridged out, and tried a backslide. Hurricane was able to reverse that, in a stunning sequence, and finish Noble off with the Vertebreaker, which got a huge pop.

Winner - The Hurricane [5'58"]. (77, 69, 85)

Jonathan Coachman and Lita throw to a one final hype package, and Heat ends.

WWE ROYAL RUMBLE - January 26, 2003

Some :angry:PYRO:angry: lights up, as we welcome you to the Royal Rumble, WWE's first PPV of the new year! We pan around the 17,492 fans who fill the Fleet Center, in Boston. Soon, we are taken to the broadcast table, where Michael Cole and Tazz are seated. They mention how RAW commentators Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were given the night off, and laugh because they are the better announce team, on the better show, SmackDown!. Cole and Tazz run down the line-up, and begin hyping the title matches for the evening, before some music starts up, and we head to the ring.

Match 1 - WWE Cruiserweight Title - Billy Kidman* vs Nunzio

This one started off slow, with Nunzio taking it to the mat, showing his superior skills. Kidman was soundly outwrestled during this portion, and he knew it. Kidman was able to quicken the pace a bit, and take Nunzio down with a nice dropkick, sending the guido out of the ring. Kidman tried to follow with a plancha, but Nunzio moved. Kidman landed on his feet, but appeared to injure his knee on the move. Back in the ring, Kidman tried to keep the pace up and regain the feeling in his knee, but every move he did seemed to injure the leg more. Eventually, he tried a second rope dropkick, but Nunzio moved, and Kidman clutched at his knee in pain. Nunzio was able to capitalize on the injury, and go to work on the leg. He hit various legbars and submission maneuvers, but the Cruiserweight champion wouldn't tap out. After a few minutes, Kidman was able to rally back and use his good leg to hit a nice enziguiri on Nunzio for the double KO. The crowd, who were slow to warm up to the contest, started to get behind Kidman, who took their cheers and ran with them. He hit a quick succession of clotheslines, and followed up with a dropkick. He was obviously still in some pain, but he fought through it. Nunzio ducked another clothesline, but was caught coming back with the Sky High for a very close two count. Kidman was setting up Nunzio in the corner for the Shooting Star Press, but Nunzio was able to trip him up, and hit a HUGE dragon screw legwhip from the second rope. Nunzio then went completely out of character, and went to the top, but all of a sudden, Jamie Noble ran out! Nunzio was distracted by Noble, which allowed Kidman to shake the ropes and make Nunzio fall down. Kidman was able to hit a disgusting Kid Krusher off the second rope, and cover Nunzio to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Title! After the match, Noble and Nunzio got into a shoving match, but cooler heads prevailed and Nunzio just walked away.

Winner, Still Champion - Billy Kidman [11'44"]. (73, 56, 91 - Title gained image.)

Match 2 - Christopher Nowinski def. Maven [5'51"].

The first RAW match of the evening sees Christopher Nowinski and Maven continue their feud. Al Snow, the trainer of both men, was at ringside for this, and showed no partisan to either man. It was a short but energetic affair which sees both guys run through their basic repertoires of moves, but Nowinski come away with the win after rolling Maven up and putting his feet on the ropes.

The Big Show and his agent, Paul Heyman are in the back. Heyman: Tonight, my client, The Big Show, faces Brock Lesnar. Now, everybody knows that I've been the agent of Brock Lesnar in the past. What does that mean? That means that I know everything about this man. I know his strategy. I know his game plan. More importantly, I know his weaknesses. And if you think that for one second that I would hesitate to tell my client EVERYTHING there is to know about Brock Lesnar, then you're obviously insane. Show: Brock, I've beaten you before. Remember Survivor Series? Remember when I chokeslammed you, and pinned you for the one, two, three, and won this belt? Well I remember. And tonight.. heh, well, let's just say that what happened at Survivor Series was like picking flowers compared to what I'm going to do to you tonight. Heyman: Brock, your catchphrase is "Here comes the Pain"? Well, Brock, tonight, WE are going to be bringing the pain. - (83)

Match 3 - Chris Benoit vs Eddie Guerrero

This match was much better than their affair last month at Armageddon. The feud had been built up significantly since then, and Benoit had a lot more crowd reaction from the fans this month. The pace started off quick, with Benoit chopping away at Eddie, but Eddie using his speed to keep Benoit on the move. Benoit was able to grab Eddie and begin working him over in the corner, letting out all of his frustration as the crowd cheered him on. Benoit tried for some early German suplexes, but Eddie was able to break Benoit's grip and get out of the ring. Eddie decided that he had had enough, and walked away, but Benoit followed him out. Benoit was able to hit Eddie with a German suplex on the floor, which got a good reaction from the crowd. He tossed Eddie into the ring and went to the top, but Eddie was able to follow him up and hit an early superplex for a double KO. Benoit was up first, and he began chopping away at Eddie, but Eddie fired back with some vicious chops of his own. Eddie was able to hit a European uppercut or six, and send Benoit into the ropes for a sleeper hold. Benoit almost succumbed to the move a few times, but was able to fight out and beal Eddie over the top rope to allow himself to regain his composure. Eddie got up on the apron, and Benoit took a big bump, getting suplexed over the top to the floor! Eddie then scaled the top rope and went LUCHA~! all over Boston with a huge diving plancha, which started a "Holy Shit!" chant in the crowd. Eddie tossed Benoit in the ring and went to work on Benoit's leg, weakening it for a possible Lasso from El Paso later in the match. Benoit was able to fight out of a legbar, and begin lighting Eddie up with chops. A brutal Northern Lights Suplex into the turnbuckle, which received a huge "OOOH!" from the crowd, ended with both guys in another double KO. This time, Eddie was up first, but Benoit began the comeback, eventually hitting the rolling Germans, and the diving headbutt for a close, close two count. At this point, Benoit tossed Eddie into the ropes, and Eddie pasted Benoit with a dropkick right to the knee, further injuring the limb. Eddie then went upstairs, and blasted Benoit with a Frog Splash on the knees! Eddie injured himself on the move, but Benoit was nearly out of it. Eddie regained his senses, and then played to the crowd a bit, mocking Benoit's injury, before trying for the Lasso From El Paso. Eddie struggled to lock in the hold, and Benoit was able to grab Eddie's ankle, pull him forward and spin him around, and FROM HIS STOMACH, get Eddie into the Crossface! The crowd exploded as he cinched it in, and Eddie tried his hardest, but just could not fight the move, and tapped out! Benoit gets the victory to end the feud! What a match!!!

Winner - Chris Benoit [17'33"]. (83, 82, 85)

Match 4 - Women's Title - Victoria def. Trish Stratus [5'02"] to retain the belt.

This was a typical Women's Title match, with Trish starting out quick, but Victoria quickly gaining control and working Trish over for a minute. Trish fought back with Kawada-like kicks to the face, but in the end, Victoria was able to best her opponent with Widow's Peak, and retain the Women's Title.

Brock Lesnar is WALKING! out to the ring for his big match. - (67 - Lesnar lost.)

Match 5 - WWE Title - The Big Show* vs Brock Lesnar

Lesnar was all business tonight, coming out with fists of fury. He took Big Show down early and began pummelling him as the crowd cheered like rabid animals. Show was able to fire back and work over Lesnar's ribs, which were injured a couple of months ago and may not be fully healed. Show controlled for a short portion with his offense, which consisted mainly of headbutts. Show astounded some people by taking a page out of Lesnar's book, and hitting an overhead belly-to-belly suplex on the challenger! Brock was able to duck a Show big boot and come back with a sick double leg takedown, and some hardcore forearms to the jaw to a monster pop. Lesnar tried for a German suplex on Show, but his ribs were too injured, and Show just kind of fell back on him, getting a close two count. Show went back to work on the ribs, but missed an avalanche in the corner, and fell victim to a big overhead belly-to-belly from Lesnar! The crowd cheered Lesnar on as he went for the F5, but Show was able to counter, and hit the Chokeslam! One! Two! NO! LESNAR KICKS OUT! CROWD IS NUTS! HEYMAN IS NUTS! SHOW IS NUTS! Show tries for another, but Lesnar kicks him low! F5! ONE TWO THREE! WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION! CROWD LOVES IT! Good match, all things considered.

Winner, NEW Champion - Brock Lesnar [8'46"]. (80, 81, 78 - Title lost image.)

Match 6 - World Heavyweight Title - Scott Steiner def. Triple H* by DQ [12'52"].

A slow, plodding match, as you'd expect from these two. Crowd was strangely silent for the most part of the match, and the two workers didn't do much to excite the crowd. Triple H controlled with his stuff, and Steiner's lack of selling, and the general size of him, made a lot of it seem pretty useless. Steiner was apparently injured during the match, and Triple H was wrestling at only 75% conditioning. Kudos to both men for working through the pain, but guys, next time, just take the night off. Triple H is able to retain the World Heavyweight Title after a sledgehammer shot to Big Poppa Pump's head, which earned "The Game" a DQ loss. After the match, though, Triple H continued the assault, and levelled Steiner with a Pedigree.

Match 7 - The Royal Rumble

Rob Van Dam (#1) and Rey Mysterio (#2) start off, as the crowd is at a fever pitch in anticipation of the two minutes that these two will bring. They don't disappoint, as these two start the match with two minutes of amazing action. The first minute was a brilliant display of aerial tactics, counters, and gymnastics, as the two men flew all over the ring while the crowd just got louder and louder. Eventually, RVD was able to kick Rey into a corner, and the two stood nose-to-nose (kind of), as the crowd stood and roared their approval. The two slowed down a bit after that, until Jeff Hardy (#3) joined the fray, and the crowd just got louder! RVD decided to take a step back, and Rey and Jeff went through another amazing sequence which got the crowd pumped up all over again! Soon enough, RVD decided to start the match, and kicked Rey in the face, before planting Jeff with a spinning heel kick. Tommy Dreamer (#4) was in next, and he brought in a few weapons with him, including a chair, Singapore cane, trash can and a lid for it. RVD and Dreamer teamed up to beat down Rey and Jeff, but then quickly started getting hardcore on each other while the crowd chanted "E SEE DUB!"

D-Lo (#5) was in next, and he started it off with Rey Mysterio, continuing their mini-feud. Jeff was in the corner resting, while Dreamer and RVD hit another good sequence of moves, getting the crowd riled up again. Meanwhile, D-Lo charged Rey, who was able to backdrop him over the top, eliminating him. (D-Lo eliminated by Rey Mysterio. [7'41"]) Shortly thereafter, Raven (#6) joined the fray, bringing in some weapons of his own to start the beating on Dreamer and RVD. Jeff tried to get involved, but Rey and Jeff began fighting on the other side of the ring. Raven was able to paste Dreamer with the Raven Effect, but RVD hit Raven with a nice spinning kick, and then smacked him with the split-legged moonsault! Bill DeMott (#7) came in next, and he quickly went to work on Rey and Jeff, dominating them with his awesome strength. Not much of note happened during this period, and C-Fresh (#8) slowly entered the fray, taking his sweet time. DeMott had Jeff up in a Gorilla Press, but Rey came off the ropes with a dropkick to DeMott's midsection, sending him backwards. Jeff was able to grab onto the top rope and prevent elimination, while RVD and Rey hit a nice double dropkick on DeMott, sending him over the top rope and to the floor! (Bill DeMott eliminated by Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam. [13'31]) DeMott wasn't done, though, as he got back into the ring and laid Rey out with a vicious powerbomb, before hitting a stiff clothesline on RVD and a No Laughing Matter moonsault on Jeff. C-Fresh just stood in the corner during this, watching and laughing. Refs finally got DeMott out of the ringside area, but the damage was done. As he was being led out, B-Squared (#9) entered. Cena and B-Squared looked at the carnage in the ring, and Cena decided that NOW was the time to work the mic. He grabbed the mic, and started rapping, but Tommy Dreamer got back up and pasted both guys with a chair, much to the crowds approval! Dreamer continued his beating, sending B-Squared over the top rope, and RVD was able to get back up, and send C-Fresh out right behind him. (B-Squared eliminated by Tommy Dreamer [15'49"], C-Fresh eliminated by Rob Van Dam [15'56"].)

Batista (#10) hit the ring next, and it was time for some bodies to hit the floor. Tommy Dreamer? Goodbye. Raven? Goodbye. (Tommy Dreamer eliminated by Batista [16'23"]; Raven eliminated by Batista [16'34"].) Batista dominated Rey Mysterio for a minute, before RVD and Jeff decided to double team Batista, much to the crowds delight. They tried a double suplex, but Batista just pounded both guys on the back, and laid out RVD with a STIFF clothesline, and then pasted Jeff with a spinebuster. Rikishi (#11) was out next, and he prevented further beating of the little guys by taking Batista on head to head! These two monsters went at it for a bit, with nobody getting the upper hand, but the crowd firmly behind (pun intended) Rikishi. The countdown expired, and Mark Henry (#12) was added to the mix. Oh my god, will the ring be able to hold these monsters? Henry and Rikishi double teamed Batista, but quickly realized that it was every man for themselves, and began battling one another. This gave Batista ample time to recover, and hit a double clothesline to both men, sending Rikishi flying over the top rope to the floor. (Rikishi eliminated by Batista [21'08].) Batista turned his attention to Henry, and pasted him with a brutal spinebuster, before grabbing him and tossing him over the top rope. (Mark Henry eliminated by Batista [21'40"].) By this time, Rey, RVD and Hardy had recovered, and the three began triple teaming Batista as the crowd cheered for his elimination. Kane (#13) was out next, and the crowd exploded! Kane hopped into the ring, and just as Batista tossed all three of his assailants away, Kane caught him with a big boot, eliminating him! (Batista eliminated by Kane [22'11].) Kane then turned his attention to the three cruiserweights that occupied the ring with him. RVD and Kane, who had teamed a few times, decided to do just that, and they paired off with Jeff and Rey, who were no match for the monster and RVD. RVD was able to knock Jeff down and hit the Five Star Frog Splash on him, while Kane smashed Rey with the chokeslam. Kane then turned to RVD, and TOSSED HIM TO THE FLOOR! (Rob Van Dam was eliminated by Kane [23'49"].) RVD was pissed, but Kane said that it was just business. A-Train (#14) was next in, and he and Kane engaged in a battle, with both men hitting some high impact moves, including a big boot by Kane, and the bicycle kick from Albert. Both men were at a stalemate until the next entrant came out.

Test (#15) continued the streak of big men entering the fray. He quickly got into it with Kane, while Albert turned his focus to Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy, who were just recovering from their previous beatings. Test and Kane went at it like two giants lumbering over the ring, but no eliminations came from it. William Regal (#16) came out next, and he and Albert formed an odd alliance, working over Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio. Jeff and Rey were showing a lot of fatigue from being in the match so long, and so they were no real match for the fresh Regal and Albert. After decimating the two little guys, Albert and Regal turned to Kane and Test, who were still brawling on the other side of the ring. The four men got into it, just as the lights went out! Bong! Bong! MY GOD! THE UNDERTAKER! (#17) HE IS IN THE ROYAL RUMBLE! The crowd popped HUGE for the return of the 'Taker to WWE, and he didn't disappoint his fans! William Regal took the first shot, and he was bealed over the top rope! (William Regal eliminated by The Undertaker 31'14"].) Albert was next to take a run. GOOD NIGHT A-TRAIN! (A-Train eliminated by The Undertaker [31'22"].) See ya later, Test! (Test eliminated by The Undertaker [31'30"].) Then 'Taker noticed who was left. He walked up to Kane, and the two had a staredown of epic proportions, while Matt Hardy (#18) entered, seemingly unnoticed. Matt quickly got into the ring, and grabbed his brother Jeff and tossed him over the top rope! (Jeff Hardy eliminated by Matt Hardy [32'08].) Matt then turned around, and realized who he was in the ring with. Thinking quickly, he grabbed Rey Mysterio, who was recovering from his attack, and tossed him at Kane and Undertaker. The brothers of destruction quickly ended Rey's night, sending him over the top, before turning back to Matt. (Rey Mysterio eliminated by Kane [32'36"].) Matt tried to talk his way out of it, but received a chokeslam from Kane for his troubles! Kane grabbed Matt and tossed him over the ropes, but Matt was able to hold on. This went unnoticed by Kane and Taker, who began fighting in the ring, as the crowd popped in approval. The two bohemoths continued their battle, as Kanyon (#19) made his Rumble debut. Kanyon and Matt, rather than fight, were content to watch the two big men brawl from the floor. Kane and 'Taker didn't show any give at all, fighting all over the ring. Eventually, Matt and Kanyon entered the ring to try and throw both guys over the top, but that didn't work, as 'Taker and Kane stopped and stared at Kanyon and Matt. Matt quickly backed off, but Kanyon wasn't so lucky, being grabbed by 'Taker and tossed over the top. (Kanyon eliminated by The Undertaker [35'55].)

Tajiri (#20) was in next. He snuck up behind Matt, and kicked Matt in the back of the head, sending him sprawling into The Undertaker. Matt tried to explain what happened, but 'Taker grabbed the founder of Mattitude and tossed him over the top. (Matt Hardy eliminated by The Undertaker [36'27"].) Tajiri quickly tried to capitalize on the tired men, but his kick was caught by Kane, who chokeslammed him to hell. 'Taker then picked up Tajiri, and dropped him with the Tombstone, before disposing him over the top rope. (Tajiri eliminated by The Undertaker [37'10"].) Again, Kane and Taker remained in the ring, and again, the two big men put aside their friendship and brotherhood and started pounding the crap out of each other. All of a sudden, some somewhat-familiar music started up. RHYNO (#21) WAS OUT NEXT! The crowd let out a cheer for the returning Rhyno, who got in the ring and challenged BOTH of his opponents! Taker and Kane stared on in disbelief, as Kane charged first. Rhyno ducked a boot.. GORE! GORE! GORE! Rhyno gets back up, as 'Taker charges! Rhyno ducks.. GORE! GORE! GORE! Rhyno has taken out both the Undertaker AND Kane! Crowd is going nuts for Rhyno! Rhyno sets up Kane for another one, but Kane moves, and Rhyno flies into the turnbuckle! Kane grabs Rhyno.. CHOKESLAM! Taker is back up.. KANE CHOKESLAMS HIM! Chavo Guerrero (#22) is out next, looking very apprehensive of the situation. He doesn't want to get in the ring, but Kane grabs him and brings him in! CHOKESLAM! But wait, Rhyno is back up, and he clotheslines Kane over the top rope! (Kane eliminated by Rhyno [40'38].) But now Taker is back up to his feet! Taker and Rhyno are going at it now! Taker sends Rhyno off the ropes.. big boot! Taker sets up Rhyno for the Tombstone, but Chavo takes Taker's legs out from under him. Taker is getting up, and Chavo charges, but Taker grabs him.. CHOKESLAM OVER THE TOP! (Chavo Guerrero eliminated by The Undertaker [41'47"].) Goldust (#23) comes out next, and quickly tries to work over Rhyno. Taker takes a moment to catch his breath in the corner as Goldust and Rhyno brawl on the other side of the ring. Lance Storm (#24) is out next, and he quickly goes after Goldust. The action is slowing down now, as Rhyno and Taker are in the corners resting, and Storm and Goldust are going at it in the middle of the ring.

Christian (#25) runs out, and joins Storm in the beating of Goldust. Taker finally regains some wind, tosses Christian into the corner, and then grabs Storm and beals him into the corner and begins pummelling him. Meanwhile, Goldust is getting up, and so is Rhyno. GORE! GORE! GORE! But before anything more can come of it: "Can you dig it, sucka?" Booker T (#26) runs out to save his partner! Booker and Rhyno begin going at it, while Taker continues to work over Storm and Christian on the other side of the ring! Taker grabs Storm, and he's out of here! (Lance Storm eliminated by The Undertaker [47'10"].) We're down to five men in the ring, with only four men left to enter! Chris Jericho (#27) runs out next, and aids his partner by clipping The Undertaker's knees out from under him. The World Tag Team champions work over 'Taker for a bit, while Booker smacks Rhyno with the axe kick! Booker is signalling for it! The most electrifying move in sports entertainment.. SPINAROONI! GORE! GORE! GORE! Rhyno gores Booker T! Both men are down, and the crowd just about has nothing left! "You think you know me." Edge (#28) is in next! The crowd roars as Edge makes his way to the ring, helping 'Taker fend off Jericho and Christian! Taker is back to his feet, and he tosses a charging Christian over the top rope! (Christian eliminated by The Undertaker [50'31].) Edge and Taker take turns punching Jericho in the head, as the crowd cheers along. Goldust gets back to his feet, and joins in punching Jericho, too! And now Rhyno is back up, and now HE starts getting punched in the head by the three faces! Jericho and Rhyno collide in the middle of the ring, and Taker sends Jericho flying over the top rope! (Chris Jericho eliminated by The Undertaker [51'28"].) Now Edge gets some steam up.. SPEAR ON RHYNO! Booker T is back up! AXE KICK ON RHYNO! Kurt Angle (#29) runs out next, just as Taker grabs Rhyno and throws him over the top rope! (Rhyno eliminated by The Undertaker [54'10].) Angle gets into the ring, and surprises 'Taker from behind.. CLOTHESLINE OVER THE TOP! UNDERTAKER IS GONE! (The Undertaker eliminated by Kurt Angle [54'15"].) Crowd is in shock at that one, as Edge and Angle begin going at it with Booker T and Goldust watching from the sidelines. Only one man remains, but who will it be? Angle, Edge, Goldust and Booker take turns fighting in the ring as the second wear down until the last man comes out! 10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 5! 4! 3! 2! 1! ...

THE GLASS SHATTERS!!!

"STONE COLD" STEVE AUSTIN!!!!!!!!! (#30) IS OUT! MY GOD! AUSTIN HAS RETURNED! THE ROOF EXPLODES OFF OF THE FLEET CENTER! Austin charges the ring! Austin ducks a kick from Booker.. LOU THESZ PRESS! AUSTIN PUMMELS BOOKER T! Edge turns around.. STONE COLD STUNNER! CROWD EXPLODES! Austin back up.. STUNNER ON GOLDUST! Booker T is lifted up.. KICK WHAM STUNNER! Booker T is tossed over the top! (Booker T eliminated by Steve Austin [56'38"].) AUstin grabs Goldust, and SENDS HIM PACKIN'! (Goldust eliminated by Steve Austin [56'48"]. Austin grabs Edge, now! SEE YA LATER, PAL! (Edge eliminated by Steve Austin [56'56"].) Austin is celebrating, but Angle sneaks up.. ANGLE SLAM! DOWN COME THE STRAPS! Crowd doesn't know what to think, but they're loud as hell! Angle sets Austin up.. ANKLE LOCK! BUT AUSTIN ROLLS ANGLE OVER! STUNNER! STUNNER! ANGLE IS CLOTHESLINED OUT! AUSTIN! AUSTIN! STEVE AUSTIN WINS THE ROYAL RUMBLE!!! BAH GAWD AUSTIN HAS RETURNED AND THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY! Show ends with Austin downing some Steveweisers, and Angle throwing a fit in the aisleway.

Winner - Steve Austin [57'27"]. (77, 74, 80)

Show Stats:

Over-all Show Rating: 77

Attendance: 17,492 ($1,084,504)

Buyrate: 1.76 ($4,400,000)

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The fact that Golddust made the final four in your Royal Rumble urges me to reiterate my earlier criticism of your booking.

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ROYAL RUMBLE STATISTICS

ELIMINATION [ENTRY TIME] -- (ELIMINATOR) [TIME]

01 D-Lo [6'00"] -- (Rey Mysterio) [7'41"]

02 Bill DeMott [10'00"] -- (Rob Van Dam & Mysterio) [13'31"]

03 B-Squared [14'00"] -- (Tommy Dreamer) [15'49"]

04 C-Fresh [12'00"] -- (Rob Van Dam) [15'56"]

05 Tommy Dreamer [4'00"] -- (Batista) [16'23"]

06 Raven [8'00"] -- (Batista) [16'34"]

07 Rikishi [18'00"] -- (Batista) [21'08"]

08 Mark Henry [20'00"] -- (Batista) [21'40"]

09 Batista [16'00"] -- (Kane) [22'11"]

10 Rob Van Dam [0'00"] -- (Kane) [23'49"]

11 William Regal [28'00"] -- (Undertaker) [31'14"]

12 A-Train [24'00"] -- (Undertaker) [31'22"]

13 Test [26'00"] -- (Undertaker) [31'30"]

14 Jeff Hardy [2'00"] -- (Matt Hardy) [32'08"]

15 Rey Mysterio [0'00"] -- (Kane) [32'36"]

16 Kanyon [34'00"] -- (Undertaker) [35'55"]

17 Matt Hardy [32'00"] -- (Undertaker) [36'27"]

18 Tajiri [36'00"] -- (Undertaker) [37'10"]

19 Kane [22'00"] -- (Rhyno) [40'38"]

20 Chavo Guerrero [40'00"] -- (Undertaker) [41'47"]

21 Lance Storm [44'00"] -- (Undertaker) [49'10"]

22 Christian [46'00"] -- (Undertaker) [52'31"]

23 Chris Jericho [50'00"] -- (Undertaker) [53'28"]

24 Rhyno [38'00"] -- (Undertaker) [54'10"]

25 Undertaker [30'00"] -- (Kurt Angle) [54'15"]

26 Booker T [48'00"] -- (Steve Austin) [56'38"]

27 Goldust [42'00"] -- (Steve Austin) [56'48"]

28 Edge [52'00"] -- (Steve Austin) [56'56"]

29 Kurt Angle [54'00"] -- (Steve Austin) [57'27"]

30 STEVE AUSTIN IS YOUR ROYAL RUMBLE WINNER

More Stats:

- Undertaker had the most eliminations, with 11. Batista and Steve Austin both had 4.

- The Rumble iron man this year was Rey Mysterio, who lasted 32'36". Runners up were Jeff Hardy [30'08"] and The Undertaker [24'15].

- People with eliminations this year totalled 10, and included: Undertaker (11), Kurt Angle (1), Rhyno (1), Rey Mysterio (1 + 1 assisted with Rob Van Dam), Matt Hardy (1), Steve Austin (4), Kane (3), Batista (4), Rob Van Dam (1 + 1 assisted with Rey Mysterio) and Tommy Dreamer (1).

- The shortest stay in the Royal Rumble belonged to Tajiri, who lasted only 1'10".

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I always loved your work in diaries, especially in the Smackdown diaries business. So charsmatic, so real to me, so awesome, well good to see you back and the Rumble was excellent.

Good luck in the future, hell you won't need it because you got the luck in your packet already... kissing the buns of GYS :P

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SmackDown! Preview - January 30, 2003

With Steve Austin refusing to sign a RAW contract this Monday, and hitting the Stone Cold Stunner on RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff, SmackDown! Commissioner Stephanie McMahon has already stated that she will offer a contract to the Rattlesnake this Thursday. The question is: What will Austin's answer be?

Also, The Undertaker returned at The Royal Rumble, and made his impact known, eliminating 11 competitors! He makes his return to WWE SmackDown! this week! What will the Dead Man have to say about his return, and the competition on SmackDown!?

New WWE Champion Brock Lesnar will be bringing his title into SmackDown!, but he may not be leaving with it. The new champion makes his first defense against a man who's been on a tear recently, Bill DeMott. DeMott has been destroying competition left and right, and this match will be a true test for the newly crowned champion.

Another return happened last Sunday, as Rhyno made his first in-ring appearance in more than a year. As evidenced during the Rumble match, Rhyno is more angry and focused than he's ever been, and on SmackDown!, Rhyno faces Rikishi in what could be a brutal contest.

Matt Hardy, furious at his elimination in the Rumble match, has challenged the man who cause him to get eliminated, Tajiri. Other matches signed for SmackDown! include Kanyon facing the Rabid Wolverine, Chris Benoit, and a Cruiserweight tag team match which will see Jamie Noble & Nunzio, who have been having problems lately, team up to face Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio.

Join us for SmackDown!!

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WWE SmackDown! - January 30, 2003

Before anything can happen, the lights go out in the arena. "BONG! BONG! BONG!" The purple light shines down, which can only mean The Undertaker has returned to SmackDown!!! 'Taker slowly makes his way out to the ring, dressed in a long black trenchcoat, with the brimmed hat, and purple gloves. The crowd goes NUTS as 'Taker soaks in the adulation from the fans before speaking. 'Taker: My creatures of the night, for far too long I have been something I wasn't. For far too long, I have been portrayed as a mortal. But alas, the dead have risen once more, and the Undertaker has risen from the ashes once again, and returned to the dark side. Let it be known that the dead man has returned. Let the entire WWE be put on notice that when it comes time to pay the reaper, all who stand before me shall rest.. in.. peace-uhhhh. (The lights go out in the arena, and when they come back on, 'Taker has disappeared. The crowd roars in approval, as the Undertaker has returned! - (85)

Match 1 - Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio vs Nunzio & Jamie Noble w/ Nidia

A fast-paced cruiserweight tag match kicks the wrestling portion of the show off, and these four try and keep the crowd hyped up. During the match, it's announced that the winners of the contest would be the #1 Contenders for the WWE Tag Titles, and would face the champions next week on SmackDown!. The tag formula was at work, as usual, here today, and Kidman got to play the face-in-peril. Noble and Nunzio, despite having problems recently, were working very well together, beating down Kidman and systematically taking apart his right leg. Kidman was eventually able to counter a Noble Tiger Driver into a 'rana to begin a short comeback, as he was able to get to his feet and plant a charging Nunzio with a Sky High before making the hot tag to Rey. Rey immediately springboarded off the ropes and hit a nice dropkick to Noble, before flying around with some crazy flying headscissors on Nunzio to send him to the floor. Rey then hit a diving hilo onto both men on the floor, getting the crowd pumped up. Noble got back in the ring, and Kidman hit a Curtain Call-ish suplex, and set Noble up for the Shooting Star Press. Nunzio, however, had other plans, and intercepted Kidman, hitting him with a superplex. Nunzio got up and began to taunt, but Rey dropkicked Noble into him, sending him flying into the ropes, where he was the victim of the six one nine! Nunzio flew back into Noble, and then plopped out of the ring, as Rey came flying off the top with the West Coast Pop onto Noble, for the one two three. Kidman and Rey Mysterio are the #1 Contenders! After the match, Noble and Nunzio got into another argument. Noble turned to walk away, but Nunzio pulled him back. Noble would have none of that, and he decked Nunzio! Noble quickly left ringside, while Nunzio fumed in the ring. What is up with these two?

Winners - Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio [7'39"]. (76, 68, 85)

We go to the back, where WWE Champion Brock Lesnar is arriving in the building! He drapes the title over his shoulder, smirks at the camera, and begins WALKING! Tonight, he'll face Bill DeMott! - (67 - Lesnar lost.)

Match 2 - Tajiri vs Matt Hardy

This match came about after Tajiri was instrumental in Version 1's elimination from The Royal Rumble match. Footage is shown of the event in question, as Matt fumes while Tajiri points and laughs. The two engage in a good little match, with Matt starting off with his trademark quick roll-up for a two count, followed up with lots of taunting. Tajiri is quickly able to take control, working Matt over with some stiff and loud kicks, before Matt gains control after countering the handspring elbow by jumping back with it and driving Tajiri down to the mat. Matt worked over Tajiri with a few moves, before Tajiri was able to start his comeback by fighting out of a headlock. Matt tried for the Side Effect, but Tajiri elbowed out, and then caught Matt flush in the face with a vicious roundhouse kick, for a close two count. Tajiri was lining up Matt for the Kick of Death, but Matt ducked, and rolled Tajiri up, grabbing the tights.. but the ref saw it somehow, and refused to count! Matt began arguing with the official, as Tajiri lined Matt up for a diving front dropkick, which sent Hardy flying out of the ring. Tajiri followed up with an Asai moonsault on the floor to a good reaction. Back in the ring, Tajiri ducked a clothesline, and tried to hit his no-look back kick to the face, but Matt ducked that, reached around Tajiri's lifted leg, and hit a beautiful capture suplex, dropping Tajiri right on his head. Matt screamed "Now I go here!" and went up for the yodelling legdrop, but Tajiri got up and kicked Matt, before climbing up to the second rope and trying a top-rope frankensteiner. Matt held onto the buckle, though, and Tajiri tumbled to the mat. Hardy quickly recovered and hit the Twist of Fate to pull out the hard fought victory.

Winner - Matt Hardy [9'14"]. (78, 71, 86)

Kurt Angle stands in the back, looking very angry. The camera pans over to Mark Loyd, who begins speaking. Loyd: Kurt, this past Sunday at The Royal Rumble, you were eliminated by none other than a returning "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. What are your feelings regarding this situation? Angle: First of all, I don't know who the hell you are, but get outta here, this is my time. (He shoves Loyd out of the picture.) Now, Steve Austin, I know the fans are all up in arms about you returning, and sure, that's great. But you see, Austin, what you DON'T do.. is interfere with my plans to win the WWE Title. I am an Olympic gold medalist! Oh, it's true, and Austin, that #1 contendership is rightfully mine. I had NO CLUE that you were going to be in this match, so how was I to prepare for you? And then, you attack me from BEHIND? Please, that's not sportsmanship, that's just idiotic. Now, Austin, I respect what you've done in your career. You've done a lot, and you've taken no guff. But when it comes down to it, I know that I'm better than you. These people know that I'm better than you. And Austin, YOU know that I'm better than you. Give me a one-on-one match with you, Austin, and I'll prove it to you, and while I'm at it, I'll take that #1 Contendership away from you. You know I can do it Austin. You know that it's true.. it's true. - (93)

Match 3 - Rhyno vs Rikishi

This match was a nice heaping helping of SQUASH. The newly returned Rhyno dominated his larger foe, hitting him with punches, kicks, brutal clotheslines, stiff shoulder tackles, and even a HUGE powerslam. Rikishi got in some token ass-related offense, but the end was really never in doubt. Rikishi tossed Rhyno to the ropes, and then tried to make Rhyno flinch by bending down and waving his ass at him, but Rhyno responded with a stiff clothesline that turned Rikishi inside out, before finishing the big Samoan off with a GORE! GORE! GORE! to make a successful return.

Winner - Rhyno [4'38"]. (75, 77, 71)

Match 4 - Kanyon vs Chris Benoit

Both men started off cautiously, working the mat against each other, and not wanting to take big risks. Benoit dominated with some submission maneuvers which sent Kanyon packing from the ring for a breather on more than one occasion. Benoit quickly tried for the rolling Germans, but Kanyon was able to get to the ropes, hit a mule kick low blow on Benoit, and then blast him with an STO to take control. Kanyon showcased a wide variety of moves on Benoit, including a Death Valley Flapjack, diving neckbreaker (without a flip like the Hurricane's version), and some whacked-out submission holds. Benoit was able to fight back with stiff chops, and eventually the double KO was reached after Benoit hit a lethal release German suplex which sent Kanyon flying across the ring, landing him on his head. Benoit rose to his feet first, and hit some high-impact clotheslines, before stomping away in the corner. The crowd was rallying behind Benoit, as he called for some more Germans. He hit one, he hit two, he hit three, and the crowd wanted more! He kept going, all the way up to seven, before he finally released his grip. The seven German suplexes obviously took a lot out of Benoit though, and he was very slow to get to his feet. He was still up before Kanyon, and called for the diving headbutt. Unfortunately, it missed it's target, and Kanyon eventually capitalized, hitting a Death Valley Driver. After a bit of stalling, he made the count, but Benoit got a shoulder up! Kanyon began arguing with the ref, before pushing him away, and setting Benoit up for the I'm Betta Than You. Unfortunately for Kanyon, he argued with the ref for just a bit too long, and Benoit was able to counter into the Crossface! Kanyon fought his hardest, but he was forced to tap, giving Benoit the big victory!

Winner - Chris Benoit [13'52"]. (81, 75, 87)

Paul Heyman and his client, The Big Show, are standing in the back. Heyman is arguing with the Big Show about his loss at The Royal Rumble, and Show is trying to defend himself, but Heyman won't let him get a word in edge wise. Show finally snaps, and grabs Heyman by the collar. Show: PAUL! I told you already. YOU screwed it up for me. You told me he couldn't kick out of the Choke Slam. YOU PROMISED ME he couldn't do it. And what did he do? HE DID IT. I oughta SMACK YOU SILLY RIGHT NOW!!! Heyman: SHOW SHOW SHOW SHOW SHOW! Calm down! Show, please, please let me go. Look, I'm already working on getting a match against Lesnar down the road. (Show releases his grip.) ..unfortunately, Show.. (A door is heard opening.) IT'S NOT FOR YOU! (Show turns around, only to be hit with a GORE! GORE! GORE! BY RHYNO!) Rhyno: HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT, you piece of SH*T! Heyman: Big Show! You ain't got what it takes to be champion ANYMORE. I'm through with letting you ride my expertise. I need a REAL client. Someone who can back up his words. Someone who is not afraid of kicking some ass. RHYNO.. welcome to the fold. (The two shake hands as the camera fades out on Shows limp body.) - (80)

Match 5 - WWE Title - Brock Lesnar* vs Bill DeMott

Another quick and plodding match sees Lesnar dominate the Tough Enough trainer, weathering only slight offense, including a nice powerbomb, before coming back and finishing off DeMott with the F5 to retain his title. After the match, though, Lesnar gets up and stares down DeMott, but out of nowhere.. GORE! GORE! GORE! Rhyno strikes again! Rhyno and Heyman berate Lesnar as we cut to commercial!

Winner, Still Champ - Brock Lesnar [5'03"]. (72, 68, 76 - Title lost image.)

The glass shatters, and WHEN YA HEAR THE GLASS IT MEANS YOUR ASS OH HELL YEAH WHAT STONE COLD WHAT I SAID STEVE AUSTIN is back on SmackDown!!! Austin gets in the ring and downs a few Steveweisers. Austin grabs the mic and begins talking about how great it is to be back, beer swillin' and causin' chaos all over the place. He toasts to the crowd for a bit before the music of Stephanie McMahon hits, and she comes out, wielding a contract. She talks about how great it was to see Austin hitting the Stunner on Eric Bischoff, and that she's so glad he could come to SmackDown!. Austin grabs the mic, and tells her that it's well and dandy that she's so glad, but there's only one problem. Austin isn't coming to SmackDown! Before Steph can respond.. KICK WHAM STUNNER WHAT WHAT WHAT AUSTIN HAS STRUCK! The crowd goes nuts, as Austin begins his celebration all over again, and SmackDown! goes off the air. - (90)

Show Stats

Over-all Show Rating: 80 (+9)

Television Rating: 5.23 (EVEN)

Attendance: 9027 ($541,620) (+1011)

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